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Mid-Major Black Monday: Head coaches at Wyoming, Air Force, James Madison all fired

With the first batch of conference tournaments over, we have our first wave of firings in college basketball

Head coach Allen Edwards of the Wyoming Cowboys encourages his team during first half action against the Boise State Broncos at ExtraMile Arena on January 01, 2020 in Boise, Idaho. Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

College basketball can be a brutal business, and when your teams haven’t won or met the expectations on the court, the severing of the relationship can come quickly. And that’s why three coaches mid-major head coaches have been fired today in the first wave of cuts that are sure to increase during college basketball’s silly season.

While two of these shouldn’t be surprising considering their expectations, one certainly might be a bit surprising considering their success relative to the wagering communities expectations. We check out all three here.

Allen Edwards, Wyoming Cowboys

Despite a run to the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament, the ‘Pokes were 9-24 this season, and just 2-16 in the MWC until their wins over Colorado State and Nevada at the tournament. Their tough loss to eventual champions Utah State in the semifinals wasn’t enough for the fourth-year head coach to keep his job.

The Cowboys were 20-13 ATS this season, and covered their last eight in a row and 10 of the final 11, but the improvement didn’t satisfy Wyoming AD Tom Burman.

Dave Pilipovich, Air Force Falcons

Also in the MWC, Air Force fired the coach they just extended last season until 2023 in Dave Pilipovich. The Falcons were 12-20 this season and had only one winning year in his eight season, while failing to cover the spread in the last 12 regular season games. At least he’ll get paid for three more years, but all the service academies truly struggle to win at basketball. Who can you get to fill that job that can be a winner?

Louis Rowe, James Madison Dukes

Probably the least surprising is Louis Rowe being let go after four years of service. The Dukes were 9-21 this season, and 2-17 in the Colonial Athletic Association. He was also 9-21 ATS this year, and only covered three times since February 1st. And when you’re not meeting expectations on the court at a program that has had some success in Year Four, this isn’t that surprising.

All three coaches will land on their feet because that’s what happens in college basketball, and much like the athletic department’s that released them today, we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

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