CHEYENNE, WYO. (AP) - Wyoming fired head basketball coach Heath Schroyer on Monday, two days after the Cowboys lost their seventh consecutive game and 15th of the season.
The Cowboys are 8-15 this season, including 1-8 in the Mountain West Conference.
Schroyer, who took over the UW program in 2007 after previous coach Steve McClain was also fired, compiled a 49-68 record over the three and a half seasons he was coach. His best season was 2008-09 when the team went 19-14 and earned a spot in the College Basketball Invitational tournament, where they lost at home to Northeastern in the first game.
UW athletic director Tom Burman said associate head coach Fred Langley will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season.
A national search for a head coach would begin immediately, Burman said.
"Although I am obviously disappointed in the University's decision to terminate my contract, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as head coach at the University of Wyoming," Schroyer said in a release.
He thanked the players, the university and the university community for their support.
"I love our team, and I believe they have a bright future on and off the court," he said.
The news release said Schroyer would have no further comment.
Burman said he regrets the firing but felt it is in the program's best interest.
"While winning is key to a successful program, we cannot lose sight of the off-the-court progress this program has made under Heath's guidance," Burman said in the release.'
The team has improved its academic standing after having been penalized scholarships for poor academic performance under McClain.
"Coach Schroyer recruited numerous young men who have represented UW with class on and off the court _ I for one applaud him for those efforts," Burman said.
The university said Burman would have no further comment until a news conference on Tuesday.
Schroyer's current contract would have expired at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season. Under the terms of that contract, UW will pay him $160,000 per year for the remaining three years.