Larranaga leaves Mason to take job at Miami

George Mason head men’s basketball coach Jim Larranaga has resigned to accept the same position at the University of Miami, assistant vice president/director of athletics Tom O’Connor announced Friday.

“After continuing discussions with me and the University, Coach Larranaga has decided to pursue the opportunity at Miami,” said O’Connor. “On behalf of the University community, we respect and thank Coach L for all he has done for the University as well as the basketball program. His accomplishments both on and off the court over the past 14 years are numerous and reflective of an outstanding career in Fairfax. We thank him for his contributions and are appreciative that he leaves Mason with the program in great shape heading into the future. As they embark on the next chapter of his career at Miami, we wish Coach Larranaga and his wife Liz the best.”

Larranaga completed his 14th season at the helm of Patriots’ men’s basketball this past year, guiding the Green and Gold to their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance. Mason advanced to the third round after a 61-57 second-round victory over No. 9-seed Villanova. There, the Patriots fell to top overall seed Ohio State in Cleveland. This season, the Patriots achieved one of the finest seasons in program history, earning the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title and a 16-2 mark in conference play, tying the most league wins in CAA history. Mason also amassed a school-record 16-game winning streak over the course of the year. Larranaga was recognized as the CAA Coach of the Year in March, his second such honor. The Patriots finished with a 27-7 record, matching the school record for victories set by the 2006 Final Four squad.

That team made history as the first CAA team to advance to the national semifinals, after wins over Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and top-seed Connecticut vaulted the Patriots to the Final Four, where they fell to eventual national champion Florida. Larranaga also guided Mason to NCAA appearances in 1999, 2001, and 2008 following CAA Championship titles. His NCAA tournament record is 5-5.

Having recently concluded his 27th season overall as a head coach, Larranaga owns a 273-164 (.625) record in 14 years at Mason. He became the Patriots all-time leader in men’s basketball victories with his 131st win on January 22, 2005 when the Patriots won 77-58 at arch-rival James Madison. He became the CAA’s all-time leader in wins on February 4, 2006 when the Patriots defeated UNC Wilmington. His CAA record is 182-89, while his career record is 470-334 (.585).

Prior to his 1997 arrival in Fairfax, Larranaga spent time as the head coach of Bowling Green (1986-97) and American International College (1977-79), while also serving as an assistant at Virginia (1979-86).

A national search for Larranaga’s replacement will begin immediately.

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