HOUSTON Rice University athletic director Joe Karlgaard announced on Thursday that he has accepted the resignation of head men s basketball coach Ben Braun effective immediately.

In a statement released by the univeristy, Braun said:

I thought it was in our program s best interest that I step down as Rice s head basketball coach, Braun said. I want to thank Rice University for the opportunity to coach our team for the last six years. The players, coaches and staff have worked diligently to represent Rice with class and dignity. I am proud we were able to take our program to a postseason tournament as well as achieve academic excellence off the court. I believe both the returning players and those currently signed for next year will form the nucleus for a very solid future. The team will always have my support.

In his six years as Rice head coach, Braun compiled a 68-123 record.

Ben and I met this morning to review the program and at that time he expressed to me his decision to resign as our head coach, Karlgaard said. I want to thank Ben for his hard work during his time at Rice. We will immediately begin identifying and contacting individuals who we feel are ready to come to Rice and lead this program to an exciting future.

On Tuesday, Rice saw its season end with a 63-62 overtime loss to North Texas in the CUSA Tournament. The loss dropped the Owls record to 7-23 on the season.

In the last two years, Braun had a record of 12-49 with Rice.

He experienced his best season in 2011-2012, when the Owls finished 19-16, the only year Braun was able to finish with a winning record. That year, Rice reach the CIT Quarterfinals.

Rice has scheduled a 2:30 press conference to discuss the future of the basketball program.

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