LAKE CHARLES – John Aiken will not return as the McNeese Cowboys basketball coach for the final year of his contract in 2023-24, McNeese Director of Athletics Heath Schroyer announced on Wednesday.
In his two seasons at the helm, Aiken compiled a 22-45 overall record and 10-22 in Southland Conference play. He will be paid the remaining year of his contract until April 15, 2024.
Aiken arrived on campus with Schroyer in 2018 and was named the 11th head coach in school history in March 2021 when Schroyer stepped away from the sideline to become AD.
The Cowboys finished this season 11-23 overall and 6-12 in Southland Conference play. It’s the most losses in a season in school history and follows an 11-22 finish last year. McNeese finished eighth in the final Southland Conference standings and qualified for the league’s postseason tournament as the eighth seed where it won its first two games before falling to No. 1 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the semifinal round.
“This is a really hard day for me personally,” said Schroyer who had Aiken on his staffs at UT Martin and McNeese. “John is a dear friend and a damn good basketball coach. I know John extremely well and I have no doubt he will bounce back, get another opportunity and be successful as a head coach in the future.
A national search will begin immediately with Schroyer, Deputy AD Bridget Martin and Senior Associate AD for External Affairs Todd Butler serving as committee members.
Added Schroyer: “At the end of the day I was a Division I basketball coach for 24 years and I have a pretty good pulse on the market. Bridget, Todd and I will do our due diligence and get the right coach who embraces my expectations for this program.”
Press release from McNeese Athletics