Orr's future with Seton Hall uncertain after loss

Updated: March 17, 2006, 7:58 AM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Seton Hall is expected to decide Louis Orr's fate as coach in the next few weeks.

But Orr might decide it for the Pirates.

Orr has two seasons remaining on a seven-year contract. Seton Hall athletic director Joe Quinlan said following the Pirates' first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Wichita State Thursday that he will review the season with Orr when they return to New Jersey. He didn't say he would do anything either way, as in an extension or termination or just let Orr ride out the two years.

Yet Orr, who has coached the Pirates to two NCAA Tournaments in the past three seasons, made it sound like he hasn't decided what he wants to do.

"Right now I'm the head coach of Seton Hall," Orr told ESPN.com in the hallway outside his locker room at the Greensboro Coliseum. "I've got to talk to my family, do a lot of praying and seek godly counsel. I've got to talk to the Lord. I don't know. I'm the coach of Seton Hall and that's what I'm looking for in the future. I've got two years left and what happens from here God only knows."

Orr's job status has been questioned throughout the past year after the Pirates finished 12-16 last season, 4-12 in the Big East. Seton Hall was picked to finish 15th in the preseason Big East coaches poll. Yet, despite losing by a combined 95 points to Connecticut and Duke, the Pirates were able to rally themselves to finish 18-11 overall, 9-7 in the Big East. Seton Hall rallied for huge wins at NC State, Syracuse and Pitt, wins that essentially earned it its NCAA bid.

At least one source close to the staff told ESPN.com Thursday that "they" -- meaning influential boosters and high-level administrators -- want Orr and the staff to be more social, be more out in the community of alumni, and basically be something that they are not, since they are most concerned with simply coaching the team.

"I don't know," Orr said of what he was going to do. "I need time to sort things out and talk to my family and coaches and do a lot of praying. I need time to sort stuff out. Time will tell."

When asked if he wants to finish the remaining two years of his contract, Orr said, "That's part of my stewardship."

The Pirates lose their top two scorers -- seniors Kelly Whitney and Donald Copeland off this team.

When asked what he thought of Seton Hall going to two of the last three NCAAs, Quinlan responded without mentioning Orr (whether it was intentional or not) by saying, "I think it's a great accomplishment and a real tribute to the team and how hard they worked."

Orr may decide to pursue another job, possibly in his native Ohio like Cincinnati or Wright State, if Seton Hall doesn't offer him an extension. Firing Orr seems to be a reach considering his success. But Quinlan may choose to simply stay the course and let Orr ride out the next two years, or at least the next season.

Regardless, the players have seen the pressure put on Orr, who in five years has taken the Pirates to three postseasons (two NCAAs and an NIT).

"He's handled it with a great deal of dignity and courage," Whitney said. "He's one of the finest guys I've ever met in my life. He's done a lot for me and this program. He took a team that was picked 15th and stayed on us. Look at his résumé. He's a good coach who has been to the postseason three of the past four years."

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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