BRADENTON -- Joe Whelton has resigned as State College of Florida head men's basketball coach after one season on the job.
Whelton said the school could not commit to give him what he felt was needed to turn the program into a winner, prompting him to leave.
"The players need a coach who is on campus, and this job is a part-time position," Whelton said. "We started the season with 15 players and finished with eight. I felt if I was a coach on campus some of that wouldn't have happened. The other coaches with successful programs such as Polk and St. Petersburg are coaches who are on campus.
"I don't want to be a part-time coach because when you do that you get part-time results. It's junior college, not high school. If I was going to do the job at SCF, I wanted to be the champions of Florida and you can't do that on a part-time basis. I am not used to be doing a part-time coach. I need to be fully committed."
Whelton, who has extensive experience coaching professionally in Europe, took over the program just prior to school starting last fall when the previous coach Reggie Bellamy unexpectedly resigned.
Under Whelton, SCF got off to a good start, but lost almost half its roster for off-the-court reasons, including academics, health and disciplinary issues.
The Manatees finished 7-19. The highlight of the season came when they won their Suncoast Conference tournament semifinal and advanced to the championship game, where SCF lost to Polk State College.
"I felt like some of that didn't have to happen (losing the players), and if their coach was on campus in some capacity the situation could've been controlled," Whelton said. "They tried to come up with a full-time position and couldn't do it. The coaching job there is a part-time position just coaching. If I can't commit to something 100 percent then I'd rather not do it when it comes to basketball."
Whelton said he met with Athletic Director Matt Ennis and was told there was nothing that could be done to accommodate his desires. Ennis could not be reached for comment.
"They were very nice and polite about it. It's not like anyone was angry. They said they wished I would change my mind, but they had to post the job, and I said go ahead and do it," Whelton said.
Whelton said he didn't expect to change his mind. He said he had four offers to go back to Europe and coach.
"I said no to those jobs (Europe). I am not considering another junior college jobs and haven't been approached by any high schools," Whelton said. "I have some friends with NBA teams. I will just have to be patient until the summer until I talk with them."
The players were notified a few days after the season that the job was going to be open, Whelton said.
"The AD met with the players and told them they were opening up the job and I wasn't coming back, and I spoke to the players. It's not a surprise. It wasn't like anything shocking."
Whelton said assistant coaches Lem Andrews and Altron Jackson will be involved with recruiting until a new coach is hired.