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Reports: Xavier fires head coach Travis Steele

Xavier Musketeers head coach Travis Steele walks into a timeout huddle in the second half of the NIT First Round game between the Xavier Musketeers and the Cleveland State Vikings at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Xavier advanced in the tournament with a 72-68 win over the Vikings.Cleveland State Vikings At Xavier Musketeers Nit
Credit: Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Xavier parted ways with coach Travis Steele on Wednesday, multiple outlets reported, even as the Musketeers are still playing in the NIT.

CBS Sports reports the move was a surprise, and that it was not a mutual decision.

Xavier defeated Cleveland State on Tuesday night to advance to the second round of the NIT. The school will begin a national search for a successor immediately, per the reports.

Steele, 40, had a winning record in each of his four seasons but didn’t get the Musketeers into the NCAA Tournament. However, the tourney was canceled in 2020.

Xavier was ranked No. 17 at one point in this season’s Top 25 poll but lost eight of 10 games to miss the NCAA tourney.

Steele finishes with a 19-13 record in 2021-22. He was 70-50 in four seasons in Cincinnati. However, he never led Xavier to a winning record in the Big East.

Steele’s contract ran through 2024. Xavier was Steele’s first head coaching post. He was promoted by Xavier after initially joining the staff for the 2008-09 campaign.

Xavier will face either Florida or Iona in Sunday’s second-round NIT game. Those two teams play Wednesday night.

–Field Level Media