Arizona fires coach Mike Stoops after 1-5 start

He had a 41-50 record in seven-plus seasons in Tucson.
By The Associated Press Published: October 10, 2011
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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Coach Mike Stoops has been fired halfway through his eighth season at Arizona.

Athletic director Greg Byrne announced Stoops' dismissal at a news conference Monday evening, two days after the Wildcats lost their fifth straight game, 37-27, at previously winless Oregon State.

Dating to last season, Arizona has lost 10 of 11 games, the lone victory this season's opener over Northern Arizona, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school.

Stoops had a 41-50 record with the Wildcats. He was co-defensive coordinator on his brother Bob's staff at Oklahoma before he was hired at Arizona. The 49-year-old coach, known for his highly emotional sideline behavior, also was an assistant at his alma mater Iowa and at Kansas State.

His 2010 team started the season 7-1 but lost its last five, including a 36-10 blowout to Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl. Arizona, the only team in the old Pac-10 never to play in the Rose Bowl, had consecutive 8-5 seasons in 2008 and 2009.

“Coach Stoops had many successes as our head coach over the last eight seasons,” Byrne said in a news release. “It was a difficult decision but I feel now is the time for new leadership and direction.”

At the news conference, Byrne said the buyout for the remainder of Stoops' contract will be about $1.4 million. His contract ran through 2013 under an extension granted in December 2008.

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