The Michigan State University athletic director began an early afternoon press conference at Spartan Stadium Wednesday afternoon saying, "This morning, I met with John L. Smith and informed him that he would no longer be the coach next year.”
Mason and MSU President Lou Anna Simon will now immediately conduct a search for John L. Smith's successor. Mason says a new coach will hopefully be hired sooner rather than later. The MSU president said on Wednesday, John L. Smith will be paid the $4.3 million remaining on his contract and that the money will not hinder the search for a new coach
"We together looked at the cost of making a decision today, and the cost of not making a decision today. It's our judgment that this is all doable" said Simon. "There's no one here that wouldn't have wished for a better outcome."
Ron Mason added that the MSU Board of Trustees will be kept informed on the status of the search and will act upon a recommendation from the president and Ron Mason for MSU's 5th head coach in 12 years
Mason said, "I think we're going to go out there and look for what we think is the best coach for Michigan State to move the program forward. I think what we asked John L. Smith to do when he got here, [which] he's done a lot of it."
“It hasn't shown up in the field the way we wanted. And so, the next coach coming in is going to be able to view the program a little differently than last time," he concluded.
Smith joined MSU in December 2002. His lackluster record this year has been four wins and five losses; one win and four in the Big Ten.