|Nutt resigns at Arkansas, Georgia Tech fires Gailey, as coaching carousel spins|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 26 November 2007 15:48|
Coaches were coming and going Monday around college football as each school searched for a winning formula.
M hired Mike Sherman, the ex-Green Bay Packers coach. Arkansas' Houston Nutt and Washington State's Bill Doba also departed days after emotional wins.
Indiana gave interim coach Bill Lynch a four-year contract after he led the Hoosiers to their most successful season in 14 years. Duke fired Ted Roof, who went 2-3 as an interim coach in 2003 to earn the full-time job then won just four more games the next four seasons.
At Southern Mississippi and Colorado State, two longtime, successful coaches were on their way out after disappointing years. Southern Miss' Jeff Bower resigned after 14 straight winning seasons and 10 bowl invitations in 11 years. Colorado State has offered Sonny Lubick a job as an associate athletic director but school officials stopped short of saying he has been fired or has resigned.
Sherman, an assistant head coach with the Houston Texans for two seasons, will return to the school where he was the offensive line coach from 1989-93 and in 1995-96 under R.C. Slocum. He replaces Dennis Franchione, who resigned Friday.
Sherman signed a seven-year contract that will pay him $1.8 million a year.
``I'm not going to delve into something unless I feel like we have a legitimate chance to win championships,'' he said.
M to become an assistant in Green Bay in 1996. He'll coach the remainder of the season for the Texans (5-6).
Sherman became the Packers' head coach in 2000, and Green Bay went 59-43 and won three NFC North titles in his six seasons. The Packers also produced two of the four highest-scoring seasons in franchise history.
Gailey was 44-32 in six years at Georgia Tech. He never lost fewer than five games in a season and was 0-6 against rival Georgia.
Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta will take over as interim coach for the bowl, and he will be a candidate for the job permanently.
Georgia Tech (7-5) came up far short of another run at the Atlantic Coast Conference championship one year after winning its division.
``Nobody likes to get fired,'' Gailey said. ``But all they can take is your job. They can't take your faith. They can't take your family. They can't take your integrity.''
Rumors of Nutt's departure surrounded the program after the loss last winter of key recruits and a popular assistant coach. Trouble mounted for the coach after the Razorbacks lost their first three Southeastern Conference games.
Arkansas rebounded to finish the regular season 8-4 and knocked LSU out of the nation's No. 1 spot with a 50-48, triple-overtime victory Friday. Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring will coach the team in its bowl.
Nutt, who resigned Monday, went 75-48 at Arkansas since being hired in December 1997.
``Houston's decision to resign was neither forced, or encouraged, or requested,'' Chancellor John A. White said.
Doba said he will not return at Washington State after a 5-7 season in which the team missed going to a bowl game for a fourth consecutive year.
In what was called a mutual decision, Doba and WSU athletic director Jim Sterk said Doba decided during a Monday morning meeting he would step down after five seasons. He was 30-29 at Washington State, including Saturday's 42-35 win over Washington, which gave him a 3-2 record against the Cougars' rival.
Doba, 67, blamed widespread speculation that he would be fired for damaging his ability to recruit, and said he wanted to take a break after four decades of coaching.
``I felt with all the negative press and Internet, and all the rumors, it was difficult, and with my age, to go out and recruit,'' Doba said during an emotional news teleconference from Pullman. ``I have no regrets and no animosity.''
Lynch replaced the late Terry Hoeppner in June and led Indiana to a 7-5 regular season. The Hoosiers are in position to receive their first bowl bid since 1993.
The new four-year contract gives Lynch, who was the Big Ten's lowest-paid coach this season, a base salary of about $250,000 plus $300,000 for promotional activities.
The move provides the program with some much-needed stability.
Lynch is the fourth coach at Indiana since 2001, following Cam Cameron, Gerry DiNardo and Hoeppner, one of Lynch's closest friends.
Roof went 6-45 at Duke. The Blue Devils lost at least 10 games in three straight seasons, including a winless 2006.
After snapping a 22-game losing streak with a victory at Northwestern, Duke dropped nine straight to finish this season 1-11. The Blue Devils have lost 25 consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference games.
Bower spent 29 years at Southern Miss as a quarterback, assistant and head coach. He was 119-82-1 in 17 seasons and had been in the same job longer than all but three coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Only Penn State's Joe Paterno (42), Florida State's Bobby Bowden (32) and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer (21) have longer tenures.
The season had been a disappointment for Bower and Southern Miss. Picked to win Conference USA, the Golden Eagles stumbled to a 2-3 start and finished 7-5.
Only Florida State (31), Michigan (23), Florida (20) and Virginia Tech (15) have more consecutive winning seasons.
A terse Bower did not sound like the resignation was completely voluntary.
``I want you to know there's a lot of fight left in Jeff Bower, and I am not done yet,'' the grim-faced coach said.
Bower did not take questions after making a short statement flanked by his wife and daughter. After meeting with athletic director Richard Giannini earlier Monday, Bower resigned.
Colorado State president Larry Penley said the school and Lubick are in ``retirement negotiations.'' He said students, boosters and alumni have become frustrated with the program's performance.
Lubick, who has two years remaining on his contract, is 108-74 in 15 seasons and led the Rams to nine bowl games. But they went 3-9 this season and haven't had a winning record since 2003.
At Northern Illinois, Joe Novak, who spent the last 12 seasons building the program, retired Monday, two days after the Huskies finished 2-10.
Novak, 62, spent 16 years at NIU, including the past 12 as head coach. He compiled a 63-75 record while leading the Huskies to two bowl games, seven straight winning seasons (2000-06) and three upset wins over top-25 teams. In 2003, the Huskies beat No. 15 Maryland and No. 21 Alabama and were ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation, while setting a school record with 10 wins.
AP Sports Writers Chris Duncan in College Station, Texas, Michael Marot in Bloomington, Ind., Joedy McCreary in Durham, N.C., Paul Newberry in Atlanta, Chris Talbott in Hattiesburg, Miss., and Noah Trister in Fayetteville, Ark., contributed to this report.