SANTA CLARA -- Kerry Keating was fired as Santa Clara men's basketball coach Monday after another season in which the Broncos missed the NCAA tournament.
It was the first major move by athletic director Renee Baumgartner, who was hired last summer and charged with upgrading the performance of numerous Broncos sports, men's basketball in particular.
The Broncos haven't made the NCAAs since 1996 (Steve Nash's senior season) and never finished higher than fourth place in the West Coast Conference during Keating's nine years.
Baumgartner gave no time frame for filling the vacancy but intends to hire "the best fit for Santa Clara" and rely on her contacts in the industry. She does not plan to make use of a search firm.
Despite two decades of struggles, Santa Clara is viewed as a program with significant potential if granted proper support from the university administration, which has long taken an indifferent view of athletics.
Baumgartner, who reports directly to president Michael Engh -- her predecessors did not have unfettered access to the top -- believes the administration is committed to providing the resources needed for SCU to compete for a league title.
The Broncos will have a new floor at the Leavey Center, a new locker room and the ability to increase the program's operating budget and the salary pool for coaches.
"There's a lot of great momentum transpiring in the athletic department,'' Baumgartner added, "and we want to build upon that.''
Keating went 139-159 and led the Broncos to the College Basketball Invitational and the CollegeInsider.com titles. A former UCLA assistant, he succeeded Dick Davey, who was forced out after 30 seasons on the Santa Clara bench, the last 15 as head coach.