On the eve of Boise State's first-ever track and field meet at Dona Larsen Park, the Broncos have made a coaching change.
Boise State announced the dismissal of J.W. Hardy in a two-sentence release Thursday afternoon. Hardy also coached the coss country team.
"I want to make it be known that I wasn't fired; my contract won't be renewed," Hardy told the Statesman on Thursday night. "Boise State is choosing to move in another direction right now."
Hardy did not identify any specific reason for his removal, and Athletic Director Mark Coyle was not available for comment.
Assistant coach Jeff Petersmeyer takes over on an interim basis for Hardy, who was hired in August 2009. Hardy was the WAC men's cross country coach of the year in 2010 after winning the conference title, and also won the 2011 WAC men's indoor track and field title.
Hardy said he "took some time away" from the team last week, then met with athletic department officials Thursday when the decision was made. He declined to say what precipitated the time away from the program, deferring to Boise State.
"I enjoyed my time - I was hopeful we could have a new deal, but it didn't get worked out," Hardy said. "I want to move forward. I don't want to be a distraction."
He said he will be paid through the end of his four-year contract, which runs through June and pays a base salary of $85,000 annually.
"They want to get a head start on finding someone else. We'll have to agree to disagree,'' Hardy said.
With Boise State still on NCAA probation because of compliance issues, Hardy admitted that at times he may have committed minor infractions, but it was not why he was relieved of his duties, he said.
"Is that the reason, in my opinion? No,'' Hardy said. "I wasn't given much of a reason, but if it were related to compliance, with the situation Boise State is in, they wouldn't have relieved me of my duties and paid me through the end of my contract.''
Hardy, who has been active with religious work at Boise State, said he is unsure of his future, but said it might lie in ministry.
While he said he and Boise State "might have some different opinions," Hardy was unsure of any possible legal pursuits regarding Thursday's announcement.
"I'll pray on it. If I feel that at some point there's reason to pursue further action, then I will," he said. "If I pray on it and realize it isn't necessary, then that's what I'll do."
Hardy is the second head coach dismissed by Coyle, who was hired in January 2012. He opted not to renew women's soccer coach Steve Lucas' contract last November following the season's completion.
ALL-IDAHO CUP BEGINS TODAY
Dona Larsen Park's first collegiate meet is Friday and Saturday with Boise State, Northwest Nazarene, College of Idaho, Idaho State, Eastern Washington, Utah State, Utah Valley, Weber State and Westminster scheduled to compete. The event begins at 11 a.m. Friday (running events at 5:30 p.m.) and 10 a.m. Saturday (running events at 12:20 p.m.).