February 14, 1997

Furman's Cantafio Announces Resignation

GREENVILLE - Furman University men's basketball coach Joe Cantafio today announced his resignation effective at the end of the 1996-97 basketball season.

"I've been coaching basketball for 23 years and have thoroughly enjoyed it," Cantafio said Friday morning. "My decision to resign wasn't made overnight, but rather something I had been considering the last couple of weeks. My affiliation with Furman has been great, and the friendships I have made and the fine young men I have coached at Furman have been outstanding."

Cantafio, 44, currently in his third season at Furman, joined the Paladin program in 1994 following eight seasons as head coach at Virginia Military Institute. During his tenure at Furman, he has posted a 30-47 record, including the Paladins' 10-13 mark this year. He is 109-194 overall in 11 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

"I want to thank coach Cantafio for the contributions he has made to the Furman basketball program," said school vice president for intercollegiate athletics Dr. John Block. "He is a person of the character and values that we expect our coaches to have, and in every way has reflected well on Furman University.

"I'd like to emphasize that Joe did a very good job in beginning the resurrection of our basketball program," Block added. "He has brought in recruits who have the potential to take our program higher than it has been in quite a while. It's unfortunate that not many people have been astute enough to see the progress of this program has been much greater than is evidenced in the number of victories. I'm confident that Joe's successor will inherit a much better situation because of what Joe has done than what Joe inherited when he came here. Personally, I have a heavy heart in Joe's leaving, but on the other hand I am happy for him because in many ways his personal life will be more pleasant and rewarding than intercollegiate athletics has allowed."

According to Block, the search for Cantafio's successor will begin immediately following the conclusion of Furman's season.

Currently tied for second with three other teams in the Southern Conference South Division, Furman has three regular season games remaining prior to the Southern Conference Tournament, scheduled for Feb. 28 - March 2 in Greensboro, N.C.

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