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Jim Larranaga, GMU men's basketball coach, leaving

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George Mason University men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga has agreed to take a coaching job at the University of Miami, according to Mason Athletics.

Long story short

We are deeply respectful of his decision. We are sad that he's leaving.

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During a 9 a.m. phone call, Tom O’Connor, director of athletics, said he was informed of Larranaga’s decision.

“We are deeply respectful of his decision,” O’Connor said Friday during a press conference. “We are sad that he's leaving.”

Present teammates got a text message Friday morning from the school about the departure. There was also a tea meeting about it. O’Connor said the team had a very mature response to it. They understand, he said, that it’s a part of life.

Other coaching staff remains on staff.

Larranaga is the Patriots coach with the most wins and brought the team to national prominence. In the years since he arrived to George Mason, there's been an explosion of development on campus. Twenty-five new buildings opened and prospective students put Mason on their wish lists.

With the 61-year-old coach's departure for Miami comes sadness and a glimmer of hope that change doesn't mean the end of George Mason's ascent.

JLarranaga just told me he is excited about task @ Miami . Trust me he will use @King James & Heat as positive 4 Recruiting ! Great hire.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

Miami hit a grand slam in getting Jim Larranaga from George Mason- He is a fierce competitor & has loads of contacts. Great hire!less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

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