Surprise or Long-Time Coming? - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Surprise or Long-Time Coming?

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Jessica Daley


After five seasons, Mark Phelps was cut Thursday as Drake's men's basketball coach. Phelps was 77-86 overall.

The announcement came Thursday afternoon. Word spread fast around campus.
"We all got a campus-wide email saying that he'd been released and that there's a new search," said Drake junior Amelia Piecuch.
"I saw it on Twitter, and I was a little bit surprised, but not too surprised," student Josh Mascharka said.

Some knew this day would come.
"After so many years of not doing very well, people kind of were expecting it each season, and this ended up being the season that it actually happened," said junior Drew Kaufman.

"A lot of my friends are saying "finally" "thank goodness," which I think is a little bit of a harsh reaction," said Piecuch.

Students said although basketball is one of the more popular sports on campus, it's still not something all Bulldogs rally behind.

"I don't think there's ever really been much of an energy around the team in the time I've been here," Kaufman said.

Last year the team placed third in the Missouri Valley Conference and won its first post season game in 35 years. Students hope to see that kind of momentum become the norm under a new coach.
"If we could find someone that would coach the team well and provide a winning season, I think that'll be exciting for the student body," said Drake junior Jake Walburg.

"My friends have all started, the guy friends anyway, have started gossiping about who might be the replacement," Piecuch said.

The search for a new coach is already underway.

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