Athletic director Tom Hickman announced the decision Monday.
The Eagles lost 75-55 last Thursday to VMI in the semifinals of the Big South Conference tournament and finished the season 12-20. It wasWinthrop’s first 20-loss season since 1997-98.
Peele was 77-82 in five seasons asWinthrop’s head coach. His teams captured two Big South Conference championships in 2008 and 2010 and advanced to the NCAA tournament as the automatic bid recipient. Peele’s 2007-08 team compiled a 22-12 record, but the Eagles didn’t reach the 20-win mark in his other four seasons and had losing records in three of the past four years, including the last two seasons when they compiled a record of 25-39.
In Big South games, Peele’s teams had a five-year record of 48-38, but finished fifth and sixth in the final league standings during the last two seasons.
“We are certainly very appreciative of the hard work and dedication shown by Coach Peele on behalf of this university over the past nine years, first as an assistant and then as head coach of our men’s basketball program,” said Hickman.
“We all celebrated the team’s achievements in 2008 and 2010 with the Big South Tournament Championships. However, over the past couple of years our men’s basketball program has underachieved and that is distressing. Sometimes there is a need to provide a spark for a program and that usually comes in the form of a change in leadership. That is why, at this time, the university has decided to release Coach Peele from his duties as head coach and begin immediately a search for a successor.“