July 7, 2003

LAFAVE RESIGNS AS MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH AT W&L

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee Athletic Director Mike Walsh has announced that Jeff Lafave, the University's head men's basketball coach for the past four years, has resigned effective July 11 to accept an assistant coaching position at College of the Holy Cross.

"It was not without a lot of thought that I have reached this decision," said Lafave. "Taking advantage of a career opportunity like this was something that I could not pass up. Having the chance to work under a respected and successful head coach like Ralph Willard and be part of a winning program like Holy Cross is exciting. This decision was not easy because I feel that the future of the program at Washington and Lee is very bright. I am respectful of the opportunity that W&L has given me to be a head coach and I will miss working with the fine student-athletes that represent the school. I wish W&L and the basketball program nothing but the best in the future."

"We thank Jeff for his five years of coaching at Washington and Lee," said Walsh. "He has done a good job in laying the ground work for a successful program. We were very much looking forward to this upcoming season when Jeff's first recruited class will play its junior year and we are making progress towards our goal of finishing in the top four of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference on a consistent basis. We wish Jeff well as he returns to his native New England and has the opportunity to learn from an experienced, proven head coach like Ralph Willard."

Lafave came to Washington and Lee in July of 1998 as an assistant coach and served in that capacity for the 1998-99 season. He took over as interim head coach for the 1999-2000 season and was hired as the full-time head coach following the season.

In four seasons as head coach, Lafave's teams posted a 28-71 (.283) overall record, advancing to the ODAC Tournament three seasons. His 1999-2000 squad posted a 9-16 overall record, advancing to the ODAC Tournament Semifinals before falling to eventual champion Roanoke, 66-60. The opening round win over Bridgewater was W&L's first ODAC Tournament win in 10 years. Three times a W&L player earned All-ODAC honors under his tutelage.

Prior to arriving at W&L, Lafave spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Williams College, leading the Ephs to two NCAA Division III Final Four appearances and one Sweet 16 showing. His resume also includes five seasons as an assistant coach at Lenox Memorial High School.

W&L will immediately begin its search for Lafave's replacement with hopes of having a full-time permanent head coach hired as soon as is practical.

-- GENERALS --