Now that Jim Larranaga has officially left George Mason to take over the Miami basketball coaching job, more information is trickling out about what exactly caused him to leave the job he dutifully kept for 14 years. Part of it clearly is money, given that Larranaga is expected to earn double what he earned at George Mason. But it appears part of it might have been a conflict with his boss, athletic director Tom O'Connor.
In his press conference announcing the move, O'Connor said the two had a "terrific relationship." But a source tells Steven Goff of the Washington Post that wasn't exactly the case.
Since the Patriots' season ended, Larranaga and George Mason had been engaged in talks concerning a contract extension, university officials said. Larranaga also had conversations regarding improved contracts for his staff and enhancements to facilities at the school, and the talks between Larranaga and O'Connor at times got contentious, sources said.
The source said that "the relationship wasn't good" and "everybody knew it." Goff also notes that Larranaga was very close to outgoing president Alan G. Merten, and his decision to step down at the end of the 2012 year affected Larranaga's thinking.