Rhode Island fires Baron after 11 seasons

Rhode Island has fired men's basketball coach Jim Baron after 11 seasons.

The announcement was made Sunday, one day after a loss to Massachusetts dropped the Rams to 7-24 on the season, including 4-14 in the Atlantic 10.

Rhode Island said a national search for a new head coach would begin immediately with a goal of naming one in early April.

"We are committed to finding the best possible coach who will help us achieve our goals of competing for Atlantic 10 Championships and appearances in the NCAA Tournament," athletic director Thorr Bjorn said in a statement.

Baron "represented himself, his family and our men's basketball program with the utmost class and professionalism" during his 11 years as head coach, Bjorn said.

Baron said in a statement: "I am comfortable with everything I was able to give to the program and to coach some fine young men. I wish nothing but the best for the program and the University of Rhode Island."

He went 184-166 with an 83-93 mark in the A-10 and was named the conference's top coach three times between 2003 and '09. The Rams made five appearances in the NIT during Baron's tenure.