Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball coach Ron Sanchez resigns. What’s next?

Khadejeh Nikouyeh/

Charlotte men’s basketball coach Ron Sanchez has resigned after leading the 49ers since the 2018-19 season.

“This is a bittersweet day for me and my family as I step down to pursue other opportunities,” Sanchez said in a news release. “It has been a tremendous privilege to lead the 49ers basketball program over the past five years and I want to thank Niner Nation for its support. I will be forever grateful to my staff, players and the university. I can only hope that the impact we made on our student-athletes is as strong as the impact they have made on us.”

According to the University of Virginia, Sanchez has accepted a position as associate head coach with the Cavaliers. Sanchez was an assistant at Virginia prior to taking the job at Charlotte in March 2018.

“The University of Virginia is truly special to me and my family,” Sanchez said in a Virginia news release. “It is the only institution I would vacate my head coaching position for. I’m thankful for the opportunity to return to Grounds with a new-found lens and perspective.”

At Charlotte, Sanchez took over a team that had gone 6-23 the year before. In five seasons under Sanchez, Charlotte went 72-78, including 22-14 in the 2022-23 season that ended with a CBI championship. The 22 wins were the most for a 49ers team since 2001, and the CBI victory was the school’s first-ever postseason championship. Three of Sanchez’s five teams at Charlotte finished with winning records.

In the offseason, Charlotte lost two key players off that team to the transfer portal. Guard Brice Williams (13.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and post Aly Khalifa (11.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) were the leading scorers on the 2022-23 team. Williams is at Nebraska and Khalifa is at Brigham Young.

Charlotte is leaving Conference USA and joining the American Athletic Conference for the 2023-24 season. The American features schools like Memphis and East Carolina and Temple. Also joining the league this year will be Florida Atlantic, which reached the NCAA Final Four last season.

Charlotte will conduct a nationwide search for Sanchez’s replacement.

“Ron took over a proud but struggling program and carefully rebuilt it into a 22-game winner. He has led with class, dignity and devotion to our young men. His decision to step down from Charlotte was a difficult one for him and everyone associated with our program. We wish him and his family every happiness,” said Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “Our competitive goals are clear. We are driven to regularly contend for American Athletic Conference championships and return to the NCAA Tournament. We have commenced a national search for our next head coach and are excited about the future.”