Western Kentucky fires McDonald after 5-11 start

By the Associated Press | January 6, 2012 | 11:37 AM EST

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Western Kentucky has fired men's basketball coach Ken McDonald after a 5-11 start capped by a controversial ending to Thursday night's game.

In a statement released Friday, athletics director Ross Bjork says the program needs a new direction. McDonald finishes with a 67-49 record following a 72-70 overtime loss to Louisiana-Lafayette when the Ragin' Cajuns appeared to have six players on the court for the final possession.

Bjork named assistant coach Ray Harper as interim head coach. Harper spent 12 seasons as head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College and Oklahoma City University before moving to Western Kentucky as an assistant coach for the 2008-09 season.