Despite great success in prior coaching positions and a rich history as an Indiana Hoosier, assistant coach Dane Fife’s contract was terminated a year early by first year head coach Mike Woodson. On the 20th anniversary of Fife’s huge performance against Kent State in the regional final of the NCAA Tournament, Woodson announced the decision as a result of not being “the right fit.”
On This Date - March 23, 2002 - @IndianaMBB sets a new NCAA school record by hitting 15-of-19 3-pointers in their 81-69 win over Kent State to earn its first trip to the Final Four since 1992. Dane Fife connected on 5-of-6 from deep, Kyle Hornsby 4-of-5, and Tom Coverdale 3-of-4. pic.twitter.com/EkNB7pk83c— John Decker (@JYDecker) March 23, 2022
There was reportedly a lot of friction between the two in their one season together. Woodson made his college head coaching debut this past season and retained two assistants former Indiana head coach Archie Miller had on staff while stealing Fife away from Michigan State where he was an assistant head coach and was later elevated to the role of associate head coach.
Fife is an alumnus of Indiana University and played on the men’s basketball team from 1998-2002. Fife helped lead the Hoosiers squad to the 2002 national title game, the last time the program has advanced past the Sweet Sixteen, and also collected a share of the regular-season Big Ten Conference Championship.
Fife is the Indiana career leader with 180 steals over the course of his career in crimson and cream. He recorded 53 as a senior which continues to rank tied for the eighth-best in a single-season.
Fife, a native of Clarkston, Michigan, joined the MSU staff back in 2011 following stints as a graduate assistant with Indiana (2003-2005) and as head coach with the IPFW Mastodons (2005-2011). During his tenure with MSU, the Spartans made two Final Fours, three Elite Eights, and five Sweet Sixteens while appearing in the NCAA tournament every season. The Spartans also won four Big Ten Tournaments and four Big Ten Conference Titles. Fife had been an instrumental part of Michigan State’s scouting and recruiting efforts. He was named associate head coach prior to the 2018-19 season, after working seven years as an assistant coach.
Following the separation with Fife, Woodson announced that Brian Walsh would be elevated to assistant coach. Walsh was previously IU’s team and recruiting coordinator. Assistant coaches Kenya Hunter and Yasir Rosemond will also be assuming new roles as associate head coaches.