CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Three years ago it seemed so right. North Carolina hired a young coach who had played college ball for Dean Smith and alongside Michael Jordan.
It all ended so badly for Matt Doherty and the Tar Heels yesterday.
Doherty resigned after a bumpy run marked by feuds with players and his failure to lead North Carolina back to national prominence.
“You have to have an environment where you can be successful, and I can understand why Matt would feel that the rumors and speculation were making it very difficult,” Athletic Director Dick Baddour said. “I admire Matt for valuing the traditions of this program and the needs of this program over his own. That takes a lot of courage.'”
The team’s failure to make the NCAA Tournament in two of his three seasons was secondary to Doherty’s leadership deficiencies, and his inability to get along with players and UNC athletic department staff.
Baddour and Chancellor James Moeser said they had been monitoring Doherty’s activity for some time.
“We want good athletes and we want to win, but on this campus coaches are also responsible for creating an environment for learning, for character development and building a team of good leaders and good citizens. That’s the Carolina standard,” Moeser said.
Doherty leaves with three years left on a six-year contract that paid him $855,000 a season. He will receive $337,500 from the school, which will include $150,000 from the upcoming basketball camp.