Charlotte fires Mark Price after a 3-6 start; assistant takes over

UNC Charlotte has fired basketball coach Mark Price, according to a statement from the university’s athletic department.

Assistant Houston Fancher has been elevated to a position as interim coach.

In two-plus seasons with the 49ers, Price produced a 30-42 record.

Charlotte is 3-6 and has lost four games in a row heading into a road contest Monday at East Carolina.

The 49ers compete in Conference USA, along with UTSA.

Price’s ouster represents the second coaching change in the C-USA in 18 days, following Tim Floyd’s retirement at UTEP on Nov. 27.

Phil Johnson, a member of Floyd’s staff, has since taken over head coaching duties for the Miners on an interim basis.

UNC Charlotte chancellor Philip Dubois and athletic director Judy Rose made the announcement on Price in a news release Thursday morning.

According to the release, Price has been released from his contract, effective immediately.

Price enjoyed a standout career as a player, earning all-America honors at Georgia Tech and later spending parts of 12 seasons in the NBA.

Playing point guard, his best years in the NBA were in Cleveland, where he led the Cavaliers to the 1992 Eastern Conference finals against the Chicago Bulls.

As a head coach, his program at Charlotte never seemed to gain traction.

In 2015-16, Charlotte produced a record of 14-19 and 9-9 in the C-USA. Last year, he was 13-17 and 7-11.

The move caught Price by surprise, according to a story in the Charlotte Observer.

“I”m still stunned to be honest,” Price told the Observer. “I was called in this morning and was told they were going to make a change. … They said they didn’t like the direction of the program was taking and that I might have lost some of my players, which I don’t agree with.”