According to the Philadelphia Daily News and the Daily Pennsylvanian, the Penn Athletic Department has just announced that Glen Miller has been terminated immediately.
The DP has indicated that Jerome Allen will serve as interim head coach, while the Daily News has stated that he will be named head coach, but had no mention of the interim tag. Athletic Director Steve Bilsky will be meeting with the media at 1:30 p.m.
UPDATE: Follow the instant reaction to the teleconference by Athletic Director Steve Bilsky at the following links:
BILSKY QUOTES FROM TELECONFERENCE:
“On any major decision, I keep the administration apprised of what my thinking is…The university is in a consensus embracing the decision.”
“The ultimate final decision was made in my mind late last week.”
“This is not really about wins and losses. I think of Penn basketball as more than just a sport that plays games to win or lose it.”
Bilsky described Miller’s reaction as “disappointed.”
Re: Allen As Interim Coach
Allen was Bilsky’s “first and only choice.”
“I wouldn’t want to go so far as to say this is a trial, but we’re going to watch everything.”
“I think its an opportunity for us to recapture the Penn identity, or begin to recapture that, by hiring Jerome.”
Slant: After barely surviving a tumultuous 2008-09 season, in which the Quakers went 1-6 at home in Ivy play and posted a 10-18 record for the season, Miller was on very thin ice heading into the 2009-10 campaign. An 0-7 start, in which the team lost two home games to teams outside the top 200, the decommitments of both guard Austin Kelly and forward Kevin Panzer, and the precipitous decline of positive fan interest in the program only accelerated the ultimate decision.
Jerome Allen will be given the reins in Miller’s absence, but one has to assume that will be a temporary gig. The Quakers need to hire a coach with experience and well-developed recruiting ties, especially in Penn’s backyard of Philadelphia, and these are things that Allen simply lacks at this point.
In the meantime, however, Allen’s youthful exuberance, combined with some talent returning from injuries, might be enough to light a fire under this year’s Penn team, get them playing with more tenacity on defense and ultimately post a handful of Ws in the win column.