By Jimmy Carlton Sportswriter Published Mar 17, 2016 at 4:31 PM Photography: David Bernacchi

Rob Jeter was the head coach of the UW-Milwaukee men’s basketball team for 11 years.

His tenure was the second-longest in school history – behind Guy Penwell, who coached 18 seasons from 1930 to '42 and again from 1946 to '52 – and his 355 total games were the program’s most.

Jeter was fired on Thursday despite leading the Panthers to a 20-win season for the fifth time. Athletic director Amanda Braun indicated a new coach was needed for the team to achieve its goal of "consistently being a top program in the Horizon League."

But how does Jeter’s success stack up against his forerunners at Milwaukee?

The program has had 20 coaches in its 120-year history, including five since it started competing at the Division I level in 1990. Jeter’s overall record from 2005 to '16 was 185-170. That winning percentage of .521 ranks 10th all-time at the school, and seventh among those who coached for at least four years.

Bruce Pearl, Jeter’s predecessor who was on the Panthers’ bench from 2001 to '05, had a .694 winning percentage over his four seasons. Pearl led Milwaukee to its first two NCAA tournament appearances in 2003 and 2005, when it advanced to the Sweet 16, before leaving to coach Tennessee. Jeter’s teams made the tournament in 2006 and 2014.

After taking over for Pearl and continuing his success in 2005-06, winning the program’s third straight Horizon League regular-season title in his first year, Jeter’s newcomer-filled team went 9-22 and finished in seventh place in the conference in 2006-07. His teams steadily improved each year, going 14-6 in 2007-08, 17-14 in 2008-09 and 20-14 in 2009-10. The next year, the Panthers went 19-14 and made the NIT.

In 2013-14, Milwaukee had a record of 21-14 and appeared in the NCAA tournament. But the program’s success was largely stagnant the past five years, never finishing higher than third in the conference standings and never again reaching the 22 wins it had in Jeter’s first season.

Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.

After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.

Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.