Despite 5-24 season, Krimmel will return for St. Francis

Don Friday was forced out at St. Francis after a 6-23 season, and his replacement, Rob Krimmel, just went 5-24 in his first year as the Red Flash’s head coach.

So is Krimmel’s job safe?

His father, St. Francis athletic director Bob Krimmel, confirmed that it is Tuesday night.

“Rob’s going to be back as our basketball coach next year,” Bob Krimmel said by phone.

The elder Krimmel was perplexed as to why the question was even asked since university officials have made no statements indicating Rob Krimmel would not return for the 2013-14 campaign.

The thing is, there had never been confirmation from any St. Francis official that Rob Krimmel’s contract extended beyond one year.

Rob Krimmel has been asked several times over the past year if he would be the head coach for more than one season, and he never confirmed that. Bob Krimmel never did either, with both men citing university policy prohibiting them from discussing personnel matters.

Pressed on his future early Tuesday evening, all Rob Krimmel would acknowledge was, “All I’m permitted to comment on is I’m the coach at St. Francis right now.”

Rob Krimmel inherited a roster very similar to the one Friday had when his team went 6-23 last season. Center Scott Eatherton had transferred, but Krimmel did regain the services of shooting guard Umar Shannon, who missed all but one game last year because of a knee injury.

Despite a roster that looked decent on paper, St. Francis started 0-11 and 1-19. The Red Flash salvaged something out of the season by winning four of their final nine games to finish 5-24 overall and 5-13 in the Northeast Conference.

“Until they tell me I’m not the head coach, I’ll continue to operate as the head coach at St. Francis,” Rob Krimmel said.

“Why would he not be our coach?” Bob Krimmel said when first asked Tuesday. “I mean, we haven’t made an announcement that he wasn’t our coach. So I would think that he would be our coach.”

The university never made any kind of announcement about Friday last year, either, until one actually came down on April 18 that he would not be retained after four seasons. Without conducting a coaching search, the university hired Rob Krimmel, a former Red Flash player and longtime assistant.

No contract details have ever been revealed about Rob Krimmel’s job, even the simplest one about whether he was a one-year interim coach or if he was given multiple years to try and turn around the program.

Krimmel will go through a postseason evaluation, as do all SFU coaches. His evaluation will be done not by his father, but instead by associated AD Jim Brazill, who oversees men’s basketball as part of a university agreement to prevent Bob Krimmel from having direct supervision over his son.

“I don’t know what the university is going to announce or what they’re going to release,” Rob Krimmel said. “That’s out of my jurisdiction. I went in the office today, I’m the head coach at St. Francis.”

And that isn’t going to change.

“At this point we have no plans to change our basketball coach,” Bob Krimmel said.