UW athletic director Jen Cohen says firing Lorenzo Romar was ‘extremely difficult and very emotional’

After firing Washington men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar, athletic director Jen Cohen held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the decision.

Here’s what she said.

(Opening statement) “First of all thank you so much for being here tonight and for getting her on short notice. We really wanted to get in front of the team and the staff today before we had you in so I appreciate you accommodating. As you know earlier today we notified Lorenzo that he was not going to be retained as our head men’s basketball coach. As you can imagine, today has been extremely difficult and very emotional for a lot of people. And that’s because of who Lorenzo is. He’s a special person. He’s been a wonderful colleague and he’s just meant so much to this university community – and meant so much to so many people through the 15 years that he’s been here. And also before that as a student athlete.

UW athletic director Jen Cohen talks about firing men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar

“Coach Romar represented our university in so many positive ways. As an alum. As an ambassador. As a mentor to so many student-athletes, which he still is now. And he led the teams with integrity and class. Unfortunately though, despite some of these strength we were not able to achieve the results that we needed on the court. When we recruit student-athletes here we offer them an extraordinary education at a world-class institution. But we also offer them the opportunity to be the most competitive athletes  that they can be. And we offer them the opportunity to compete for championships. That’s who we are. That’s a big part of our mission. And so in the end after a thorough evaluation, we felt like a leadership change was necessary for us to create a championship culture that we think Washington deserves. We wish Lorenzo and Leona and his family that absolute best. There’s never going to to be any words that I can say or…

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