By RICKY LINDSAY, Sports Editor
John Mackson is no longer the head coach of the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball program. He made the announcement to the Michigan Journal on Friday afternoon.
“I am no longer the coach of the men’s basketball team. I have no other comment at this time,” Mackson said to the Journal.
Interim Athletic Director Dr. Ann Lampkin-Williams would not specify whether Mackson was terminated or resigned. She said the change was officially made April 2.
“Out of respect for current and former employees’ right to privacy, the University of Michigan-Dearborn does not discuss personnel issues,” Lampkin-Williams said in an email to the Journal.
Mackson took over the UM-Dearborn men’s basketball program in 2011 after spending five seasons as the boy’s basketball coach at Taylor Kennedy High School.
In his first season as the head coach of UM-Dearborn, Mackson led the Wolves to a 3-27 record. The following year, the team improved to a 7-23 record.
The Wolverines won eight games in Mackson’s third and final season at the helm of UM-Dearborn. The eight wins marked the team’s highest output since the 2010-2011 campaign, one season before Mackson took over.
Under Mackson, the men’s basketball program signed high school seniors Jason Penn (Ferndale University High School) and Connor Phee (Southgate Anderson High School) to Letters of Intent. Lampkin-Williams said UM-Dearborn will honor all signed Letters of Intent and scholarship commitments.
These signees, as well as current student-athletes, will have the option to look elsewhere for their basketball careers.
“Current student-athletes, as well as new entering student-athletes, have the option of continuing their basketball career with another institution,” Lampkin-Williams said.
When asked whether she expects any current student-athletes on the UM-Dearborn men’s basketball team to transfer to another program, Lampkin-Williams declined comment.
“Out of respect for the current players, I cannot comment on their personal decision to remain at UM-D,” she said.
Mackson compiled a 74-40 record in five seasons as the Taylor Kennedy Eagles boy’s basketball head coach, including a school-record 21 wins in 2010. After the historic season at Taylor Kennedy, Mackson was named Region 1 High School Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan. He also received the honor as the Detroit Free Press’ Metro Coach of the Year in 2010.
From 2008-2010, Mackson was honored as the Downriver Boys Basketball Coach of the Year by the News Herald.
Like other university job openings, the UM-Dearborn men’s basketball head coach position was posted on umjobs.org. The position was posted on April 4 in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources, according to Lampkin-Williams.
“The closing date is April 18, 2014,” Lampkin-Williams said. “The resume review process has begun. I anticipate that the position will be filled no later than May 10, 2014.”
Staff reporter Dan Jenkins contributed to this article.