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Dane Fife says he was offered “coach in-waiting” terms in contract, turned it down

We may never fully know the details why Dane Fife was fired by IU six months ago.

But the former Indiana guard and assistant coach is adamant it had nothing to do with him being disloyal to head coach Mike Woodson.

Fife was rumored by the message board crowd to be making it known he would be taking over for Woodson in the short term, but he said in an interview with The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, the reality was much different.

“It was offered for that to be written into my contract (that he was the coach in-waiting). And I turned it down,” Fife told DeCourcy. “I can with 100 percent confidence tell you that happened.

“It was very important to me that Mike Woodson understood I was strictly coming there to be his assistant … And under no circumstance was I coming there with the notion that my desire to be head coach at IU would take priority over being a hard-working, loyal assistant to Coach Woodson.

“It was going to be difficult enough enduring the tough times throughout the season without dealing with the notion of the ‘heir apparent’ looming over us.”

Despite his own stint as a head coach, 10 years working under Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, and playing under former IU coach Bob Knight, Fife has not secured a new job at the college level since he was let go by IU.  Mean-spirited rumors circulated needlessly likely have played a role in that.

Fife is currently working as a coach for the Indy Heat AAU program.

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