OLIVET, Mich. – Olivet College Athletic Director Heather Bateman announced today that Head Men's Basketball Coach Gene Gifford will not be retained, effective immediately. The men's basketball season ended Saturday with a loss against Calvin College and the Comets did not advance to the four-team Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Tournament.
"A national search for his replacement has begun," said Bateman. "A committee will be organized to review all candidates, with our main focus being on our student-athletes."
Gifford has served as the Comets' head coach for the last five years. During his tenure, Olivet posted a 53-77 overall record, including 30 wins against MIAA opponents. Twice, Olivet advanced to the MIAA Tournament semifinals. He coached five All-MIAA players, including Michael McClary, a two-time MIAA Most Valuable Player.
Prior to joining Olivet's staff in 2007, Gifford was the head men's basketball coach at Muskegon Community College (MCC) for 25 years and also served as the athletic director at MCC for the final 14 years. At MCC, he won more than 400 games and was twice named the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Western Conference Coach of the Year. Gifford was also named the MCCAA Athletic Director of the Year in 1995-96 and 2006‑07.
Gifford earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Olivet. He went on to earn a master's degree from Central Michigan University in 1987.