BREAKING: Tom Parrotta out as Canisius coach

Tom Parrotta will not return to coach the Canisius men’s basketball team next season, the school announced Sunday night.

Canisius fell to Niagara in the play-in round of the MAAC Tournament on Friday, 80-70, losing to the Purple Eagles for the third time this season to close a 5-25 season.

“After careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to make a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program,” athletic director Bill Maher said in a statement. “This decision comes after careful thought to what I believe is in the best interest of our men’s basketball program here at Canisius College.

“Tom has worked diligently on behalf of Canisius College and has had a significant impact on our program in a number of areas, and for that, we are grateful. However, our goal is to compete for the MAAC Championship and we have not made sufficient progress toward that goal. I appreciate Tom’s hard work and dedication to our College and the men’s basketball program, and most importantly to our student-athletes. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Parrotta had one year left on his contract after compiling a 64-121 record in his first six years on the job. Details of his buyout were not immediately available.

Canisius finished in the bottom-four of the conference in five of Parrotta’s six years, putting the team in the play-in round at the conference tournament. The 2010-11 season was the only year Canisius avoided the extra game, finishing in sixth place with a 15-15 overall record and 9-9 mark in conference games. The team lost to third-seeded Rider in the quarterfinals that year.

Neither Maher nor Parrotta were immediately available for comment. Maher may meet with press as soon as tonight.