After 10 seasons on the job, Bruce Weber resigned from his post as Kansas State’s coach Thursday following a 14-17 season that ended Wednesday with a first-round loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament. The Wildcats finished this season with a losing record in Big 12 play for the third straight year. Weber, 65, led K-State to five NCAA Tournament appearances in his first seven seasons before the program’s downturn over the last three years.

“Coach Weber has provided selfless leadership to our basketball program and university for the last decade,” K-State athletic director Gene Taylor said in a statement. “With two conference championships and an Elite Eight run in 2018, our program reached exceptional levels of success under his direction. His development of young men on and off the court, while representing K-State in a first-class manner with the highest level of integrity is unmatched in today’s game and something all K-Staters should take great pride in.”  

K-State rallied from an 0-4 start in conference play and won four of its first five games in February to reach a 14-11 (6-7) mark, cracking the NCAA Tournament conversation midway through the month. But then came a six-game losing streak marked by three losses of five points or fewer that knocked the Wildcats out of the Big Dance discussion.

Close losses were a theme for K-State this season as the team demonstrated clear improvement compared to last year’s squad, which finished 9-20 with a 13-game losing streak covering all of January and much of February. Ultimately, the improvement was not enough to buy another season for Weber, who arrived at K-State for the 2012-13 season from Illinois following a nine-year run with the Illini.

“I’m very very proud of my time here,” said Weber on Wednesday after K-State’s season-ending loss. “Tournament bids, I wish I had more … We won titles, we did it the right way, we did it with our guys graduating. I’m just proud of what I’ve done, proud of these guys, proud of the guys I’ve coached. Whatever happens in the future, happens, and that’s fine.”

In five NCAA Tournament appearances under Weber, the Wildcats advanced out of the first round just once. That came in 2018, when they made a surprise Elite Eight run as a No. 9 seed highlighted by a 61-58 win over Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Twice in Weber’s tenure, K-State was upset in the first round as a No. 4 seed.

It’s not unusual to see college coaches in this era continue into their 70s, and Weber could certainly be attractive to Division 1 programs of a certain caliber if he wishes to continue working. While his K-State tenure ended poorly, Weber coached Illinois to an appearance in the 2005 national title game and won 20 games in his seven of nine seasons there. He came to Illinois following a successful five-year run at Southern Illinois and an 18-year run on Gene Keady’s Purdue staff.

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