Penn officials will tell you that wins and losses didn't factor into the decision. Glen Miller just hasn't been a good fit since replacing Fran Dunphy three years ago.

That's why the men's basketball coach was fired yesterday after the Quakers dropped to 0-7 this season.

Former Penn great Jerome Allen, who was hired in August as an assistant coach, was named the interim coach. This will be his first college head-coaching job.

"This really is about a sense of direction and leadership," Penn athletic Steve Bilsky said of the firing. "Where we were at this point indicated it was time to make a change and this was the best time to do it."

Bilsky said the decision to fire Miller was made last week. The Quakers are off until Dec. 28, when they travel to Davidson.

"If a decision was going to be made during the season, and that's always a difficult task for a lot of reasons, this represents the best time," Bilsky said.

Miller compiled a 45-52 record after replacing Dunphy in 2006. Penn was 22-9 and made an NCAA tournament appearance in his first season. The Quakers, however, followed that with 13-18 and 10-18 records before starting 0-7 this season.

It is the program's worst start since the Quakers opened the 2000-01 campaign at 0-8.

Miller could not be reached for comment but told the Associated Press yesterday: "Right now, I think it's in my best interests not to say anything," he said. Allen was unavailable for comment.

According to Bilsky, in addition to not winning enough games, the coach never had the support of fans and alumni.

"I would have liked to have seen a greater welcome for him," the AD said. "But I don't think it's a reason why we were successful or not successful."

Allen shouldn't have the same problems with the alumni. The four-year starter was a two-time Ivy League player of the year. The former team captain led the Quakers to three consecutive league titles from 1993 to 1995.

A second-round pick by the Timberwolves in 1995, Allen spent two seasons with Minnesota, the Indiana Pacers, and the Denver Nuggets. He then played in Europe before retiring after last season. He was a player-coach in Italy last season.

Allen was inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame in February.

"He represents what I think what Penn's basketball's success represents," Bilsky said.

Listen to Penn athletic director Steve Bilsky's conference call with reporters about the firing of Glen Miller at http://go.philly.com/pretzel.

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Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.