Brownell announces departure of longtime assistant coach

by - Senior Writer -
Winiecki will no longer be with the Clemson program

CLEMSON – Men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell announced Saturday that he has advised longtime assistant coach Mike Winiecki to pursue other options.

Winiecki just finished his seventh season as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball program in 2016-17, his fifth as Clemson’s associate head coach.

Winiecki, who followed Brad Brownell from Wright State to Clemson in 2010, was named associate head coach prior to the beginning of the 2012-13 season. He was is in charge of Clemson’s post players and coordinates the Tigers’ recruiting efforts.

Brownell said he broke the news to Winiecki last week.

“Mike is an outstanding coach. He’s tremendous in working with post players,” Brownell told TigerNet Saturday. “He has a very bright mind. He has very good experience at the level. He’s just a really good coach and he’s a great man. He’s a guy that handles his business in a first-class way. He’s been an unbelievable ambassador for our school and our program since he’s been here. It’s no indictment on him at all or how he performed here. It’s more a matter of a new perspective. Sometimes that happens when you get in these situations where you’re looking for a new perspective or somebody with a little bit of expertise in a little bit of a different area and that’s all it is. We wish him well. He’s a very good basketball coach.”

Clemson fell short of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight season in 2016-17 and lost at home to Oakland in the first round of the NIT, finishing with a 17-16 record. Rumors swirled that Brownell might be replaced, but during a meeting with the media two weeks ago, Athletic Director Dan Radakovich said that he met with Brownell and thought there would be changes to Brownell’s staff instead.

Radakovich intimated that he thinks there will be changes on the basketball staff at some point in the next few weeks, but said he didn’t force those changes.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to how the structure inside the program is working. There's not one ounce of me that doesn't think that Brad's a really good leader of the program,” Radakovich said. “Are there things that you need to look at and that only he can look at? I don't hire and fire people on other folks' staff, that's why you hire a head coach. He's got to be able to take a critical look at his own organization - are there gaps that we need to be able to help fill within the basketball organization? I'm pretty sure it won't stay the same.”

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