Joe Dempsey is out as La Salle High's basketball coach

La Salle head coach Joe Dempsey celebrates after the Explorers beat Chester in PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal in 2014. Dempsey is out as coach at La Salle.

La Salle announced in a Wednesday morning email to the media that Joe Dempsey will no longer be the school’s head basketball coach after serving for 14 years in that position.

“La Salle College High School announced that Joseph Dempsey will conclude his tenure as head coach of the varsity basketball team effective with the end of the 2017-2018 season,” the email said. “Mr. Dempsey and the school administration met on Tuesday afternoon, April 17, 2018, to discuss the program at La Salle.”

Dempsey compiled a 208-147 record (.586 winning percentage) with the Explorers, who went 15-8 overall and 8-5 in the Catholic League last season. They fell to eventual league champion Roman Catholic, 56-46, in a quarterfinal playoff.

“I was with the program for 27 years, and I’m proud of how it progressed in the time I was there,” Dempsey, 51, said. “We tried to have the guys play the right away and, by and large, they represented the school well.

“I was proud to have coached in the Catholic League for so many years. I want to thank all the assistant coaches, players, and managers that have been with me over the years.”

In 2013-2014, Dempsey guided La Salle to a 23-7 record and the PIAA Class 4A championship game before losing to District 7’s New Castle, 52-39, at Hershey’s Giant Center.

“I think the school is looking to go in a new direction, and I respect that,” Dempsey said. “I wish the program nothing but the best.”

Dempsey was an English teacher at La Salle up until two years ago. His  son, Joseph, is a junior at the school and a 5-foot-10 guard on the basketball team

La Salle wrote in the email that it “will begin a search process for a new head coach of basketball in the near future.”