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Men’s Basketball Head Coach to Leave BU

Dennis Wolff steered team to two NCAA tourneys and three NITs


Dennis Wolff, men's basketball head coach since the 1994-95 season, had an overall record of 247-197.

Dennis Wolff will not return to BU next year as head coach of the Terrier men’s basketball team, Mike Lynch, the assistant vice president and director of athletics, announced on Thursday.

“We greatly appreciate the contributions that Dennis has made during his 15 years at BU,” says Lynch. “To a man, his student-athletes competed hard on the court, earned their degrees in the classroom, and represented BU well in the community. We wish Dennis nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

Lynch says his decision “was not made quickly or easily,” but that he believes a change in leadership is in the best interests of the men’s basketball program.

The head coach since the 1994-95 season, Wolff posted an overall record of 247-197. The Terriers finished third in the America East conference this year, with a 17-13 record, ending their season in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament with a 79-75 overtime loss to the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

During Wolff’s tenure, BU advanced to two NCAA tournaments (1997, 2002) and made three National Invitational Tournament appearances (2003, 2004, 2005). The Terriers won two America East championships (1997, 2002) and captured the conference’s regular-season crown four times (1997, 2002, 2003, 2004). Wolff has coached more seasons and won more games than anyone in the program’s 100-season history.

Wolff arrived at BU following a four-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia. He also spent four years as an assistant coach at Wake Forest, and one year at Southern Methodist University. A 1978 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Wolff was a two-year letterman at UConn after transferring from Louisiana State University in 1975.

Lynch said a national search for the next head coach will begin immediately.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.


11 Comments on Men’s Basketball Head Coach to Leave BU

  • Jim on 03.12.2009 at 9:20 am


    Dennis Wolff is no doubt a legend in AE Basketball. Unfortunately, AE basketball is nothing special, and neither are the Terriers at this point. There is no reason why a school like BU, with it’s location and facilities should not be able to attract quality talent. Some may say that it is not a welcoming community for african american students, however, look at schools like Gonzaga, Butler, and BYU; all predominantly white universities who consistantly make the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully this firing will bring someone new in that knows how to get on the road and sell BU as a top choice for gifted recruits. Let’s be the Duke of the NE!

  • Mark on 03.12.2009 at 9:57 am

    Three words: Kareem Abdul Jabbar

    He’s coached successfully at several levels, he’d be a draw for talent (“gifted recruits”), and he’d make an instant name for our program.

    Not to mention the fact that he’d teach our students the value of completing their education and being compassionate humans.

  • Anonymous on 03.12.2009 at 12:49 pm

    Coach Wolff

    Dennis Wolf is a great coach and exellent role model for the young men that he recuited to BU. He will be missed.

  • Anonymous on 03.12.2009 at 2:13 pm

    Good riddens.

  • Anonymous on 03.12.2009 at 3:26 pm

    I agree that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would be amazing. It’s possible that he would be interested. He tried to become the head coach at Columbia but didn’t make the cut. I think he would great at recruiting and who better to teach basketball skills?

  • Anonymous on 03.12.2009 at 5:12 pm

    Mens Basketball

    It seems that BU is moving away from an artsy, anti-traditional school like NYU and moving towards becoming a traditional preppy school like BC. With that in mind, I think it’s really important to have a great basketball team. A great basketball team is also important for alumni. I know I didn’t care about college basketball until I graduated. If we had a great basketball team that I could consistently on TV, I would be WAY more likely to donate money. BU needs to do things right and just hire an over-paid, great coach like at UCONN. It’ll will pay dividends.

  • Jack '07 on 03.12.2009 at 5:16 pm

    Sorry, Wolff. It just didn’t work out. We need to hire a better coaching staff. We can become a Duke, a USC, a Georgetown, or a BC. If we really become a powerhouse, the fans will come, and the alumni donations will come.

  • Big East on 03.12.2009 at 8:02 pm

    Didn’t he run Tony Gaffney off his team a couple of years ago? And Etienne Brower the year before?

    Didn’t they both become excellent basketball players at a much higher level after they left BU?

    Weren’t they both model citizens and team captains at UMass?

    Wasn’t Dennis Wolf a moron?

  • Anonymous on 03.13.2009 at 3:06 am


    Boston University plays in all but a few of their games in a high school quality gym. They play in one of the worst leagues in college basketball. They are centered in a state and region with low quality high school basketball talent.

    There are limitations for a school like this.

    Dennis Wolf was a coach coaching below his level. He should have gone to Fordham when he could.

    Folks, this is about B.U. expecting the A-10 to admit it once Agannis Arena was built. They didn’t want a school where basketball would always be a distant second to hockey. That will never change.

    Wolf graduated his players, competed for championships when not beset with injuries, recruited above the school’s weight…that is the limit for B.U. basketball.

    Unlike Pitino and Jarvis he showed loyalty to B.U. when other schools called. He was a fool for doing so.

  • Anonymous on 03.16.2009 at 8:39 pm

    To Ridiculous: BU

    To Ridiculous:

    BU dominates this conference in every other sport. Wolff wasn’t doing that in basketball. He couldn’t make it past the first round in the last 5 plus years. He should have…we have numerous advantages over the other schools.

    It’s really as simple as that and not about being a powerhouse, new conferences, arenas. We’d like to improve our program and take the next step(s), but our short-term goal was to make the NCAAs and succeed in a conference which we dominate in every other sport. He could not do that. He is gone because of it.

    Really you made my point for me. We play in one of the worst leagues in college ball as you said. EXACTLY and he couldn’t win there in recent history. As far as the gym, if we succeed, Dennis Lynch is ready to transition this team to Agganis Arena…we play more and more games there every year.

  • jYoung on 08.02.2009 at 1:20 am

    Dennis Wolff did a great job coaching basketball for BU given the school’s limitations.

    People who think that BU can compete on a major level in college basketball are living in a fantasy world.

    Basketball has never been big at BU – hockey is king.
    It has no national reputation and is in a weak league so it cannot attract the national recruits. Any coach with national career desires will just use BU as a stepping stone – see Pitino and Jarvis – and risk miring the program in dirt.

    Coach Wolff got BU to the NCAA and NIT several times with the handicaps and he stayed loyal to the school. He got more out of the team than could be expected.

    Good luck finding a coach who will do as well for as long without scandalizing the program or bailing out for greener pastures elsewhere.

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