EDMOND — Tracy Holland has been fired as University of Central Oklahoma football coach after going 15-29 in four seasons — three while the Division II program was on NCAA probation.“This was a very difficult decision but one I felt needed to be made at this time in the best interest of the university and our football program,” UCO athletic director Joe Muller said in a statement. “I appreciate the effort that Tracy put into the football program over the past four years and wish him the best.” Assistant head coach Steve Patterson will take over as interim head coach. UCO officials said the search for a replacement will begin immediately. Holland’s first UCO team finished 7-4 and won the 2008 Lone Star North Division championship. UCO was 8-25 since. The Bronchos recently completed a second consecutive 2-9 season. Central Oklahoma moves into the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in 2012. The Bronchos played this season as an NCAA Division II independent, less than a year after the school ended a long membership with the Lone Star Conference. Holland led the UCO football program during a period in which it was on probation for NCAA violations committed under previous head coach Chuck Langston. The program is no longer on probation. “I told our administration that it could be pretty tough in years three and four,” Holland told The Oklahoman in October when questioned about his job status. “Since then, I’ve had great support from our administration. They know how many scholarships we lost and that it would take some time to rebuild.” A rugged schedule, which included just four home games, coupled with injuries, factored into another losing season for a program that has won two NAIA championships and qualified for the Division II playoffs four times. Tight end Bryce Davis, who recently completed a four-year career at UCO, said: “I wish they would’ve given him at least one more year. He was thrown into a bad situation, and I think he needed more time to get things turned around. "We had a young group; and even though it’s a good young group, age still matters in college football, even at Division II.” NORTHWESTERN HIRES HALL Former University of Miami (Fla.) quarterback Alan Hall was named head football coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State in Alva on Thursday. Hall, who played behind Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta during the Hurricanes’ 1991 national championship season, has been an assistant coach at several small college programs. He spent the last year as athletic director and head coach at Bible Baptist, a college prep school in Savannah, Ga. Hall guided the Braves to a 4-4 record this season. Hall replaces Keith Barefield, who resigned after five seasons. Barefield guided the Rangers to a 34-19 recored and two Central States Football League championships. Northwestern State is currently in the NAIA but plans to file for admission to NCAA Division II.