McNeese State will fire men’s basketball coach John Aiken

Lake Charles, La. — McNeese State fired basketball coach John Aiken on Wednesday after the Cowboys went 22-45 over the past two seasons.

“It’s a tough day for me,” said athletic director Heath Shroyer, who hired Aiken. “John is a dear friend and a great basketball coach. I know John very well and I have no doubt that he will come back and get another chance and be successful as a head coach in the future.

Shroyer, a former basketball coach, coached Aiken at UT Martin and McNeese from 2018 to 2021.

When Schroyer stepped down from coaching to become McNeese’s athletic director in 2021, he replaced Aiken.

The Cowboys went 11-23 this season, marking the most losses in a single season in program history. Aiken has one year left on his contract.

Now Shroyer, associate athletic director Bridget Martin and senior associate athletic director for external affairs Todd Butler will form a search committee to find a new coach, the university said.

“I’ve been a Division I basketball coach for 24 years and there’s a lot of good momentum in the market,” Shroyer said. “Bridget, Todd and I will do our due diligence and find the right coach who will accept my expectations for this program.”

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