Tim Floyd’s wild coaching career came to a sudden end on Monday night.
Following the University of Texas-El Paso’s 66-52 loss to Lamar, Floyd opened the postgame news conference with a short recap of the game, and then made a stunning announcement.
“I’ve coached for 42 years and I love this school,” Floyd said. “My father played here. Nobody wants to win here more than I do. I’ve coached at this university for 16 years and I think it’s time for somebody else to have the opportunity to have the joy that I’ve had, the agony that I’ve had, the acclaim that I’ve had, and the heartbreak that I’ve had in my career.”
A reporter asked Floyd to clarify his remarks, and he said: “I’m through. I’ve retired as of today. This is my last game as a coach.”
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Floyd coached for two seasons at Idaho and six at New Orleans when he was chosen by Iowa State to replace the legendary Johnny Orr in 1994. The Cyclones made the NCAA Tournament three times in four seasons and won the last Big Eight Tournament title under Floyd.
In 1998, Floyd was hired by the Chicago Bulls to replace Phil Jackson. The Bulls were coming off a sixth NBA Finals championship in eight seasons, but Michael Jordan had retired and Scottie Pippen was traded to Houston. Chicago finished with a 13-37 record in a season shortened by a labor dispute.
It was Floyd’s best season as Bulls coach and he had a 49-190 record in four years. Floyd also coached the New Orleans Hornets for one season and later was the head coach at Southern California, where he resigned under the haze of a scandal.
Floyd, 63, was hired at UTEP before the 2010 season and had a 138-99 record, and indicated that he was not happy with the current state of the game.
“We had to try and rebuild it from scratch and got to 22 and 23 wins and I can’t even explain what’s happened here in the last three or four years in the new world of college basketball,” Floyd said. “From some of our signees not showing up, to some people that we tried to rely on that might have left early to injuries, and they continue to happen.”
Floyd quit on the day that UTEP introduced a new athletic director, but said that wasn’t the reason for his decision. He also mentioned some troubles he’s had off the court, perhaps with his health.
“I love those players and those players know that I love them,” Floyd said. “My family has told me they feel like it’s time. I’ve had some issues of my own here in the last two and a half weeks, three weeks. And I’m going to be fine. But I wanted to coach my last game at this university, and I appreciate the fact that we got the opportunity to do that.”
The El Paso Times shared this video of Floyd’s news conference.