Indiana sends Lynch packing
Lynch was fired Sunday with one year left on his contract, a day after Indiana reclaimed the Old Oaken Bucket from Purdue to earn their only conference victory in a third straight losing season.
“My view was that, given the circumstances of the last three seasons, that extending the contract was not a viable option,” athletic director Fred Glass said. “It would send the wrong signal of what merited an extension at Indiana University.”
Players insisted that Lynch wasn’t the problem.
After Saturday’s 34-31 overtime victory at Purdue, Indiana’s first win in West Lafayette since 1996, senior quarterback Ben Chappell acknowledged Lynch took most of the blame for the failures of the players.
But that wasn’t what Glass had to consider.
He saw Lynch’s 19-30 record over the past four seasons, three conference wins in three years, the failure to reach another bowl game after his first season and the likelihood that other coaches would use Lynch’s uncertain future against him in recruiting over the next year.
Lynch took over as interim coach in 2007 after coach Terry Hoeppner died from complications of a brain tumor and led the Hoosiers to their first bowl bid since 1993. This was supposed to be his best season since then.
Any lingering hopes Lynch had of keeping the job, however, evaporated during a two-week span this month when the Hoosiers were blown out 83-20 at Wisconsin and then lost 41-24 against Penn State.
Glass said the loss to Wisconsin accelerated the evaluation.
Miami fires Shannon
Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt said on Sunday that the 22 games Miami has lost under Randy Shannon was the biggest reason he decided to fire the coach.
Former offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is taking over on an interim basis.
Hocutt fired Shannon on Saturday night, hours after Miami lost to South Florida in its regular-season finale.
The Hurricanes fell to 7-5, still have yet to play for an Atlantic Coast Conference title and lured only 26,369 fans to Sun Life Stadium on Saturday.
, the smallest home crowd since Larry Coker’s last home game in 2006.
Miami moved swiftly, with Hocutt already enlisting the help of Chuck Neinas—a consultant who specializes in finding the right coaches for schools—and giving him an initial list of candidates. Hocutt would not divulge who the initial targets are, and stressed that Miami will take as much time as it needs to make the right hire.
Speculation has centered on Mike Leach, Mark Richt, Tommy Tuberville and Jon Gruden.
Shannon left with three years remaining on his contract, and even until his final day had plenty of support from many top university officials—president Donna Shalala included.
Shannon went 28-22 in four years.