POSTED: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 8:47pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 1:56pm
Baton Rouge, La — Southern University Chancellor Kofi Lomotey today dismissed Athletic Director Greg LaFleur. He will recommend to the university's Board of Supervisors that Lady Jaguar Basketball Coach Sandy Pugh become the interim athletic director.
LaFleur’s dismissal comes after his arrest for allegedly soliciting a prostitute in Houston, Texas.
“This decision was reached after consultation with campus and system administrators. We think the decision is in the best interest of Southern University,” Lomotey said.
The chancellor praised LaFleur for his guidance of Southern University athletics during tough economic times and coaching changes. “I appreciate his effort and the hard work he put in during some difficult situations,” Lomotey said. “I speak for the rest of my staff in wishing him well.”
Lomotey said his decision to fire LaFleur is one that had to be made and made quickly for the stability of Southern's athletic program. “Given the circumstances, I think it would be difficult for the university to move forward with Mr. LaFleur as the head of the athletic program,” he said.
“I think that bringing Sandy Pugh into the job provides us with someone who has done a great job of recruiting student athletes, who is a rising star in her profession and who commands respect immediately,” the chancellor said.
“Her presence and background will be invaluable in guiding our athletic department over the next several weeks and especially next week during crucial meetings with representatives from the NCAA,” Lomotey said.
Coach Pugh has brought the Lady Jaguar basketball program to an unprecedented level of prominence in her 11-year tenure. She presently serves on the Top 25 Coaches poll. Her teams have been to four NCAA Tournaments, two WNIT appearances and have won four regular season Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships, as well as having produced the only player ever drafted from the SWAC into the WNBA.
“But more importantly,” Lomotey said, “her teams have consistently averaged an APR score well above the standard.”
Lomotey said the University will launch a nationwide search for a new athletic director. “The person hired will come into the job with the full support of the campus, administration and the Jaguar Nation,” he said. “That person will be expected to help our coaches attract and graduate the best student-athletes available.”