ETSU head coach Jason Shay has resigned after his first season.
East Tennessee State head coach Jason Shay announced his resignation Tuesday after one season in the position.
The Buccaneers finished 13-12 overall with an 8-7 SoCon record.
“I have decided it is in the best interest of myself, my family, and the ETSU men’s basketball program to no longer continue as head coach,” Shay said in a statement that was reported by WJHL’s Michael Epps.
“This past year has been extremely challenging for me in many different ways. It is the right time for a new challenge and an opportunity to reset my personal and professional goals,” Shay added.
Shay was named head coach in 2020 when Steve Forbes left his position for Wake Forest. He served as an assistant under Forbes starting in 2015.
WJHL reports that the university and the men’s basketball program faced “immense backlash” after the team kneeled during the national anthem before playing Chattanooga on Feb. 15. Shay clarified later that week that his team did not intend to disrespect the flag or armed services by kneeling.
In February, several Tennessee senators penned a letter to university presidents within the state, encouraging schools to adopt athletics policies that would prohibit national anthem protests.
Former ETSU player Tray Boyd III, the team’s leading scorer during the ’19-20 season, expressed his thoughts on Shay’s resignation Tuesday.
In February, Heat Check CBB named Shay one of the best rookie head coaches in college basketball during the 2020-21 season.
Shay is the 39th head coach to leave his position during the 2021 offseason.