|Nelson Whitmore led Brockport
State to the sectional round of the NCAA Tournament and got Hamline
its first winning seasons in decades.
Nelson Whitmore and Hamline “have parted ways,” according to a university release, stemming from an incident that his team was involved in on New Year’s Eve while at a tournament in Spokane, Wash.
The university terminated Whitmore’s email address weeks ago. The team has been coached by athletic director and former baseball coach Jason Verdugo since the incident was made public a few days later.
Verdugo will serve as acting head basketball coach for Hamline for the remainder of the basketball season, the school announced Wednesday. Verdugo will also continue in his role as athletic director.
Verdugo has filled in as head coach since the beginning of January. The Pipers are 8-12 overall, 2-8 under Verdugo.
While Whitmore and the university agree he did not violate any NCAA or MIAC policies, there is mutual agreement that his departure is the best course of action to enable the basketball program to move forward and is in the best interest of the university, the players, the program, and Whitmore and his family.
During Whitmore’s time at the university, he led the Pipers to three consecutive winning seasons for the first time in two decades and took the team to the MIAC tournament twice. During his tenure, it was also the first time since the 1993-94 campaign that the Piper basketball team finished above .500.
The search for a permanent head men’s basketball coach will begin immediately.