Washington fires Willingham
Coach forced out after 11-32 record
Tyrone Willingham was fired yesterday as Washington's coach after failing to restore the Huskies to national prominence.
Two days after Washington fell to 0-7, athletic director Scott Woodward said Willingham will step down at the end of the season. When asked yesterday if this was his decision, Willingham said flatly, "no."
Willingham, appearing at his weekly news conference, added he never considered resigning.
"No, it's just not in my makeup," he said.
The decision comes after Saturday's embarrassing 33-7 loss to Notre Dame on national television and after eight days of discussions with Woodward, who has said he did not want to change coaches during the season. Willingham coached Notre Dame for three seasons until being fired in 2004.
"We didn't win enough football games. That's it," Willingham said. "Hopefully, we've done all the other things right, [and] it's a good strong program for someone to jump into and do things."
Willingham, who's out with a year left on his contract, will receive a $1 million buyout.
Word was slow to leak to the team, which plays host to No. 7 Southern Cal Saturday.
"It's tough. He's the reason I came here," quarterback Ronnie Fouch said.
Willingham has been under fire for not turning around the Washington program. He is 11-32 overall in his four seasons, losing at least six consecutive games in each of those seasons. Washington currently has a nine-game losing streak.
BU men favored
Boston University, which returns its top seven scorers from last year's men's basketball team that posted a 9-7 mark in the America East, was the preseason favorite among coaches to win this year's conference title. The Terriers received five of a possible eight first-place votes and 59 points to edge Vermont (55 points). Hartford was third with 51 points, followed by UMBC (45), Binghamton (37), Albany (30), New Hampshire (24), Maine (13), and Stony Brook (10) . . . BU will retire the No. 10 jersey worn by the late Jack Leaman (1956-59), a senior cocaptain on the 1959 NCAA Elite Eight team, at halftime of the Nov. 14 season opener against George Washington at Agganis Arena.
BC, BU on the move
Colorado College received 30 of 34 first-place votes to retain the top spot in this week's USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll while Boston College jumped two spots to the No. 2 ranking and Boston University leaped four spots to No. 3. The Eagles, who beat Vermont last week, got three first-place votes. No. 5 Minnesota received the other first-place vote.
UNH's Hinds honored
New Hampshire junior defensive back Ryan Hinds was named The Sports Network's national defensive player of the week and the CAA's defensive player of the week for his efforts in the Wildcats' 42-14 win Saturday over Towson. Hinds had two interceptions, returning one 74 yards for a touchdown, and six tackles . . . UNH moved up one spot to No. 9 in TSN's Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 poll. Massachusetts moved up two spots to No. 15; as did Harvard, which is now No. 23.