Florida A&M informs Gillespie of dismissal by fax

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida A&M University fired basketball
coach Mike Gillespie on Tuesday, less than three months after he
was charged with misdemeanor stalking.

"This employment action is in the best interests of the men's
basketball program and the university," said James Ammons, who
became the school's president six weeks ago.

Associate athletic director Alvin Hollins said a committee would
be formed to hire a new head coach. No decision has been made on
the current assistants, which include Gillespie's son, Mike
Gillespie Jr. The school will use an interim coach, Hollins said.

When reached on his cell phone, Gillespie referred the call to
his attorney, Tim Jansen.

"We're extremely disappointed," said Jansen, who was informed
of the decision by fax Tuesday morning. "I believe their action is
totally premature."

Gillespie, who is married, was accused of stalking a former
girlfriend who had sought to end their relationship for more than
two years.

Police warned the coach in 2005 and again the night before he
was arrested in May to stay away from the woman. He was arrested
after driving by her workplace on May 25.

Jansen has been attempting to work out a settlement with state
prosecutors, and a case management hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29
when the state will offer Gillespie probation with some specific
requirements, prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said Tuesday.

Gillespie, who has worn an ankle monitoring device since his
arrest, will remain on administrative leave with pay through Nov.

"Players are finding out that he was terminated before the
coach was informed," Jansen said. "It's shocking, what FAMU has
done and the way they handled this."

Gillespie completed his sixth season at Florida A&M by taking
the team to its first 20-win season since 1988-89 and its second
NCAA tournament berth in his tenure.

He came to Florida nearly 20 years ago, coaching at St. Leo
College for two seasons before coming to Tallahassee in 1990 to
coach at a community college.