Hernandez, who led Spain to world title, fired

Updated: June 3, 2008, 10:25 AM ET
Associated Press

MADRID, Spain -- The Spanish basketball federation fired national team coach Jose Vicente "Pepu" Hernandez, who led the team to its first world championship title in 2006.

The announcement Tuesday came after a brief meeting between Hernandez and federation president Jose Luis Saez, who will reportedly offer the coaching position to former DKV Joventut coach Aito Garcia Reneses.

The federation said in a statement that Hernandez had been fired for failing to comply with contractual obligations and for showing a "lack of respect for the federation and its staff."

Relations between Hernandez and the federation deteriorated after the 50-year-old coach said last month he would quit after the Beijing Olympics in August.

"I have been fired without a motive or reasons," Hernandez was quoted as saying by the El Pais daily. "Now it is necessary to rebuild. I ask for whoever replaces me to be given some peace."

Hernandez, who took charge in early 2006, also guided Spain to the silver medal in last year's European basketball championships.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press