UALR men's basketball coach Steve Shields fired

UALR Director of Athletics Chasse Conque announced Wednesday that head men's basketball coach Steve Shields will no longer be the coach for the final year of his contract. The Trojans are coming off a 13-18 season where the team lost to South Alabama in the opening round of the Sun Belt Tournament.

"I want to thank Steve for all he has done for this program, including being a mentor and leader to our student-athletes," Conque said. "He held his players accountable, and his team's academic achievements are something we are very proud of. This was a tough decision, but one that I felt was best for our program at this time."

Shields has a record of 192-178 in 12 seasons as head coach. He spent four years as the head coach at McLennan Community College prior to coming to UALR as an assistant coach for the 2000-01 season. He has a lifetime coaching record of 268-229 across all divisions.

"I'd like to start by thanking our Trojan fans for their support over the years," Shields said. "I appreciate the opportunity Porter Moser gave me 15 years ago to come here as an assistant coach. I also appreciate the opportunity that Chris Peterson, Bill Walker and Chancellor Hathaway gave me to become the head coach after Porter left."

Shields led the Trojans to five division championships and a 2011 Sun Belt Tournament title that earned the program its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1990.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time working at UALR," Shields said. "The relationships that I've developed over my 15 years here will always be cherished. I want to say a special thanks to our players and staff who have been outstanding to work with. I've also enjoyed working with Chancellor Anderson, and I wish him and Chasse Conque the best moving forward."

A national search for UALR's next head coach will begin immediately.

"As we hire our next men's basketball coach, among our list of priorities will be someone who values the student-athlete experience and shares our vision to compete for championships," Conque said. "Finding someone who will embrace the community and become part of the fabric of Little Rock are also essential to the program's future.

"We are confident this is an attractive position that will garner interest from high-quality candidates across the country. The opportunity to lead a Division I program in a vibrant, metropolitan area is unique and appealing on several levels.

"UALR provides a beautiful, thriving campus full of students, staff and faculty passionate about its success. The Jack Stephens Center, one of the finest college basketball facilities in the country, combined with a loyal fan base give us plenty reason to be excited about the future of UALR basketball."

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