"We are grateful for Jimmy and all that he has accomplished here at Samford," said Newton. "He has been a beacon for our University and for this athletic department for a number of years, but we ultimately feel that it is in the program's best interest to go in another direction. After substantial consideration, we have decided to make a change in our head men's basketball coaching position."
Tillette recently completed his 15th season at the helm of the Samford men's basketball program. The Bulldogs finished the 2011-12 campaign with an 11-19 overall record and an 8-10 mark in Southern Conference play.
During his time at Samford, Tillette led the Bulldogs to a pair of NCAA Tournaments in 1999 and 2000, and registered a 229-219 overall record.
"I affirm the appreciation of the Samford community for Coach Tillette, and I have enduring respect for his intellect and his integrity," said Samford President Dr. Andrew Westmoreland. "Likewise, I support Mr. Newton as he leads us in the process of shaping a new direction for our men's basketball program."
A national search for the new head men's basketball coach at Samford University will begin immediately.