Four straight 20-loss seasons cost Herrmann ultimate Navy demerit -- his job

March 12, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Pete Herrmann, whose teams had four straight 20-loss seasons, was dismissed yesterday as Navy's basketball coach.

Navy ended this season with seven straight defeats and a 6-22 record, including a 1-13 mark in its first season in the Patriot League. Herrmann's six-year record was 63-110.

"Pete's a fine person and he worked extremely hard," said athletic director Jack Lengyel. "Unfortunately, at some point you have to be successful. The last four years, we won an average of only one game out of four.

"I understand the limitations and restrictions of recruiting here. I also believe there are good recruits out there who want to come to the academy."

Lengyel said a nationwide search for a new coach will begin immediately. He recognizes, however, that some candidates may not be available until after the NCAA tournament ends early next month.

"Not if they're active coaches now, anyway," Lengyel said. "The Final Four is three weeks off. Meantime, the procedure is always the same -- get names, call some people, screen it down. There's no timetable."

Herrmann spent six years as Navy's top assistant under Paul Evans, then got the head coaching job after Evans left for Pitt. His only winning season was his first, 1986-87, when the Mids went 26-6 with current NBA star David Robinson, captured the Colonial Athletic Association championship and bowed to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Herrmann took the dismissal philosophically and vowed to remain in coaching.

"I had a great association with the academy and with so many people in the Annapolis area," he said. "I want to thank them for their support the past 12 years. The press people were super.

"The academy itself was great to me and we had a good staff. I think we would have won, but it's their [Lengyel's] decision. Jack went along with everything I felt we needed to try to be successful."

With that, Herrmann acknowledged the bottom line: "We just didn't win enough games."

A 1970 graduate of Geneseo State, Herrmann has been coaching for 22 years, at the high school as well as the college level. He has no intention of switching careers now.

"I want to coach," he said. "I think I can lend to any program, in terms of recruiting as well as actual coaching. I can contribute a lot of things."

Lengyel would not say if any of Herrmann's assistants -- Emmett Davis, Barry Parkhill, Doug Wojcik and Norm Amorose -- would be candidates. Wojcik was point guard and captain of Herrmann's 1986-87 team, which Robinson took to the NCAA tournament.

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