Clemson, SC-Clemson Head Basketball Coach Larry Shyatt resigned his
position on Monday. He had served as head coach of the Tigers for
the last five years, including this season's 15-13 squad, the third
straight year the team increased its overall victory total and
winning percentage. He made the decision after a season ending
meeting with Clemson Athletic Director Dr. Terry Don Phillips.
"I have had a wonderful career at Clemson," said Shyatt, who
first came to Clemson as an assistant under Rick Barnes in March of
1994. "I want to tell all the players I have coached at Clemson how
much I appreciate the effort they gave to our program. I also want
to thank all of my assistant coaches. I have been fortunate to work
with a dedicated and loyal staff during my entire career at Clemson. "I also want to thank the fans, especially the Clemson student body
for their support. Our family developed some great relationships in
Clemson and we look forward to continuing those in the years to come.
"I have put my heart and soul into this job, and that was especially
the case this season. We made improvement in many areas under
difficult circumstances due to the renovations of Littlejohn
Coliseum. We worked as hard as we could with the resources made
available to us.
"All of us would have liked to have seen the victories come more
frequently. But, I am gratified with our team's progress
academically and socially over the last five years.
"The program is in good condition across the board, including balance
on the roster when it comes to scholarship players by class and
position. An outstanding new group will join the program next year. "The program is also in good shape academically and in terms of the
players' character. The entire senior class (three scholarship and
two walk-ons) will graduate this spring and summer. The team returns
four starters for next year, including three starters who will be
juniors. There are also some outstanding experienced reserves who I
know will do an outstanding job in replacing our seniors from this
"But, I feel it is just time to give someone else the opportunity to
coach this program.
"Clemson is a wonderful place, a great place to raise a family. It
will always be a special place for the Shyatts. We will have nothing
but fond memories of Clemson University.
"Coach Shyatt has been an outstanding representative of
Clemson University," said Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips.
"Larry has been a model coach in terms of keeping the overall mission
of the University at the forefront.
"A couple of weeks ago, he lectured to a marketing class one night
after practice. How many coaches would do that in the middle of the
season? We have five seniors this year and all five are on schedule
to graduate by the end of summer school.
"He has had memorable accomplishments on the court. No Clemson fan
who was in the coliseum two years ago when we defeated a number-one
ranked North Carolina team will forget that game. No Clemson coach
has a higher winning percentage against the Tar Heels in our history. "We appreciate everything Larry and his family have done for Clemson
University and will help him any way we can in his future endeavors."
Shyatt came to Clemson as an assistant coach under Rick
Barnes in March of 1994. He served as associate head coach under
Barnes for three years, including the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons,
years the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The 1996-97 team
finished eighth in the final USA Today Coach's poll, the highest
final ranking in Clemson history.
At the conclusion of that season, Shyatt accepted the head
coaching position at Wyoming. He led the Cowboys to a 19-9 record
and a berth in the NIT in 1997-98, the program's best winning
percentage in 10 years. He defeated two top 10 teams that year,
including national finalist Utah. He was named Coach-of-the-Year in
the Mountain Division of the Western Athletic Conference.
Shyatt returned to Clemson as head coach for the 1998-99
season. In his first year he won 20 games, a record for a rookie
head coach in Clemson history. He was just the fourth coach in ACC
history to win 20 games in his first season.
The season included four victories in the NIT, leading to
Clemson's first appearance in the championship game of a postseason
tournament in 60 years. Clemson defeated Georgia, Rutgers, Butler
and Xavier before losing to California by just one point in the final
possession of the game.
With the graduation of five seniors off the1998-99 team,
Shyatt faced a rebuilding process. But the Tigers increased their
victory total each of the last three years. During that time the
Tigers recorded one of the top upsets in Clemson athletics history, a
75-65 victory over a #1 North Carolina team in Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Tar Heels had won 18 consecutive games, and it was just the
second time in Clemson basketball history that the Tigers had beaten
the number-one ranked team.
This year's Clemson team had a 15-13 record. The Tigers
began the season with a 9-0 record, including a victory over NCAA
Tournament bound Cincinnati, the second winningest program in college
basketball in the first three years of this century.
This season also included an 80-77 victory over North
Carolina, Shyatt's third over the Tar Heels. He is Clemson's most
successful coach against the Tar Heels on a winning percentage basis
overall and in home games. He leaves Clemson with a record of 70-84
for his five years and has an overall mark of 89-93 as a Division I
Many of Shyatt's players have shown progress as a result of
his guidance. This year point guard Edward Scott was named
first-team All-ACC, the first Clemson point guard in 43 years to be
honored as a first-team selection. Will Solomon was also a first-team
choice in 2000 and Terrell McIntyre was a second team selection in
1999. McIntyre and Solomon both led the ACC in scoring. Shyatt has
coached 16 players in his career who have gone on to play in the NBA.
Shyatt's players have also been successful off the court.
All five seniors on this year's team are on track to graduate this
year. The team had a GPA of 2.38 for the first semester and five
players were named to the academic honor roll.