Emerson men's coach resigns

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Hank Smith
Hank Smith resigned from Emerson, according to the official story.

After 16 seasons as Emerson's basketball coach, Hank Smith has decided to leave the school to pursue other interests, according to an athletic department release.

No reason was given. No interim replacement was named. Saturday's game against Norwich was listed as postponed. However, the Berkeley Beacon, Emerson's campus newspaper, got a more thorough explanation.

"I was just about to go talk to him when (assistant athletic director) Stan (Nance) came in and told coach that (athletic director) Kristin (Parnell) needed to speak with him," Eric Helfman, a junior basketball player, told the paper. "Then Stan told us to go down to the locker room."

"Stan just called everyone in the locker room and said 'People higher up in the school are looking to go in a different direction,'" junior Carlos Negrete told the Beacon. "We were all shocked. None of us expected this."

Smith took over the program in 1994, inheriting a team that had won 21 games total in the previous five years.