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ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Ted Woodward, University of Maine men's basketball coach for the last 10 years, has had his contract bought out by the school, Maine President Paul Ferguson announced Monday.

Officials in Orono say Woodward's tenure as head coach ends immediately. Ferguson says the decision was reached after evaluation of the program by Director of Athletics Karlton Creech and university administration.

Creech said "I would like to thank Ted for his 18 years of service to the University of Maine, first as an assistant coach and then a head coach…Ted's commitment to the University of Maine and its student-athletes — both athletically and academically — have been the trademark of his tenure here."

The university says Woodward has 2 years remaining on his last contract extension. He will be paid a 13 month buyout of $113,800. Maine officials say they will use privately raised funds from the President's Discretionary Account to fund the buyout.

The university says a formal national search will begin immediately.

While Woodward recently finished his 10th season as head coach of the Black Bears, his last few season have been full of turmoil. This off season alone 4 basketball players have sought transfer out of the program.

Woodward came to the University of Maine in 1996 as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator for then head coach John Giannini. Woodward also coached golf at the University of Maine from 1997-2001.

The 50-year old released a statement on the Maine men's basketball program's official twitter account (@BlackBearsMBB).

Here's the link to his response. http://t.co/p92hEzuQof

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