(UA) TUSCALOOSA â€” Tom Asbury, an assistant coach on Mark Gottfriedâ€™s University of Alabama staff for the past four seasons, will retire from coaching when his current contract expires in July. Asbury, 61, came out of coaching retirement in April of 2003 when he joined the staff at Alabama.
â€œThis is something that actually has been in the planning since the beginning of the season,â€ said Asbury who was head coach at Pepperdine from 1988-94 and Kansas State from 1994-2000. â€œIt became apparent around the first of the year that I was not going to be able to continue to commit to the hours and demands of coaching. Mark and I discussed from the start that I wanted to do this for three or four years and because of health issues that have arisen in my family in the last year I had decided earlier this year that this would be my last year of coaching.â€
Asbury will remain a part of the University of Alabamaâ€™s athletic department staff in another capacity.
â€œIâ€™d talked, obviously, to Mark, and to Coach (Mal) Moore as well as Wendell Hudson about remaining with the athletic department, and they were all very supportive for which I am very appreciative,â€ said Asbury. â€œI want to thank first and foremost Mark for giving me the opportunity to get back in to coaching. After a three-year absence, which is what it had been when I came here, it would have taken a special situation for me to return to coaching. Thatâ€™s exactly what it has been for me here. Itâ€™s been an exceptional opportunity, working with these coaches, players and staff at Alabama. These four years have been extremely rewarding. We have great kids who are in and have come through this program. They are young people with great character and ideals. To work with them here has made my return to coaching very rewarding. I would like to thank the passionate fans here at Alabama who have supported us throughout.â€
Tide head coach Mark Gottfried said of Asbury, â€œI want to thank Tom for his contributions to our basketball program. He has been an exceptional asset during the past four years. He made a difference here in a very positive manner. Although I have know Tom and his wife Carlie for a number of years, I have grown to respect him even more since having the opportunity to work with him on a daily basis.â€