By Julia Lankisch, Staff Writer
Xavier Basketball and Travis Steele have agreed to part ways as of the morning of Wednesday, March 16.
He was originally supposed to coach for two more seasons, with a contract that extended through 2024. He started with the program in 2008 as director of basketball operations, and continued to be promoted through the ranks, being named head coach in 2018.
This decision comes on the heels of a win in the first round of the NIT tournament vs. Cleveland State the night before, and he will continue to coach through Xavier’s play in the tournament.
Steele had a winning overall record of 70-50 during his 4-year head coaching tenure at Xavier, although his Big East record finished at 31-37. This was likely a large contributor to Xavier’s choice to transition in a new coach.
Junior Alex Masferrer commends the program for their tough choice. “I would say he’s a very nice guy overall, but as a program we need to get back to the high standard we used to have. The biggest issue besides missing the tournament was his poor Big East record… as a student you want to see your team beat conference rivals. I’m hoping we pick Sean Miller back up.”
Steele released a statement on Wednesday. “I appreciate the opportunity to lead Xavier Men’s Basketball the past four years,” said Steele. “I am excited for the next chapter in my life, and I wish Xavier nothing but success.”
Junior James Groh also agrees that the decision is in the team’s best interest. “I like it. You just can’t go 31-37 in the Big East and miss the NCAA tournament in all 4 years as the head coach at Xavier.”
Everyone who worked with Steele can agree he is a fantastic person of upstanding character who cares for his players and is kind to everyone he interacts with. However, Xavier students seem to be in support of finding a new coach.
Jonas Hayes will serve as the interim Head Coach for the rest of the NIT.