Former Austin Peay head coach and Duke basketball star Nate James during a college basketball game. Austin Peay head coach Nate James yells to players during a NCAA college basketball game between the Tennessee Vols and the Austin Peay Governors in Knoxville, Tenn. on Wednesday, December 21, 2022. Volsaustinpeay1221 0319

The Austin Peay Governors are looking for a new men’s college basketball coach.

Austin Peay has fired head coach Nate James, as first reported by Jeff Borzello of ESPN on Sunday night.

James, 45, is best-known for being a key member of the Duke Blue Devils from 1996-2001. In the 2000-01 college basketball season, James averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals for a Duke squad that won the National Championship. He was a co-captain for the Blue Devils in his final two seasons with the team.

He returned to Duke as an assistant coach on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff beginning in 2008 and stayed with the Blue Devils until being hired by Austin Peay in April 2021.

In two seasons with Austin Peay, James led the Governors to a 21-39 record. Formerly in the Ohio Valley Conference, Austin Peay joined the  ASUN Conference and went 9-22 in the 2022-23 college basketball season.

James took over at Austin Peay for Matt Figger, who lead the Governors to a 76-51 record over four seasons. The Governors were last in the NCAA Tournament in 2016 under Dave Loos, and they haven’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 1987.

While it didn’t work out for James at Austin Peay, his Duke history as a player and assistant coach should land him on a college basketball staff again soon.


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