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Virginia Tech fires basketball coach

March 10, 2003 at 5:05 PM

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 10 (UPI) -- Virginia Tech fired basketball Coach Ricky Stokes on Monday after the Hokies missed the Big East Conference Tournament for the third straight year.

"This is a very difficult decision for me, personally, as I have the highest regard for Ricky as a person," Athletics Director Jim Weaver said. "We appreciate all the hard work Ricky has put into his position and wish him the best in the future."

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The Hokies completed an 11-18 season Saturday with a 71-67 loss to West Virginia. Virginia Tech was 4-12 in the Big East Conference.

Virginia Tech won 16 games in its first season under Stokes, but slumped to 8-19 in 2000-01 and was 45-70 in his four season tenure.

The 40-year-old Stokes was associate head coach at Texas before arriving at Virginia Tech. He also served as an assistant at Virginia, Wake Forest and Bowling Green.

Stokes played at Virginia and was part of Final Four teams in 1981 and 1984.

Weaver said that Virginia Tech would buy out the final year of Stokes' contract.

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