For the sixth time since the start of the 2011 season, a Div. 1-A football program has decided to “go in a different direction” at the head coaching position.
In a release, Akron confirmed that Rob Ianello will not return as the Zips’ head coach next season. Ianello finishes his brief Akron career with a 2-22 mark, including a 1-15 record in MAC play.
“Earlier today, I informed Coach Ianello that he has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately,” athletic director Tom Wistrcill said in a statement. “In some areas, the program has made considerable progress under his leadership. Unfortunately, the results on the field fell far short of our expectations. After a comprehensive evaluation, I have determined that our football program needs to move in a new direction.”
According to the New York Times‘ Pete Thamel, Ianello, who came to the Zips after serving as Charlie Weis‘ defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, received the news of his dismissal while traveling to his mother’s funeral. Yikes.
In addition to Akron, other schools to announce changes during the season includes Tulane, New Mexico, Arizona, Ole Miss and Penn State. The Lobos (Bob Davie) and the Wildcats (Rich Rodriguez) have already found replacements.
North Carolina and Ohio State are expected to have new coaches as well — although the latter has already (or very nearly) reached an agreement with their new head football coach — while Florida Atlantic will be searching for a replacement for Howard Schnellenberger, who is retiring at season’s end.
Interestingly, the Buckeyes’ current coach (for now), Luke Fickell, could be a candidate — perhaps the candidate — for the Zips opening. CFT has been told by a source close to Fickell that, as of Saturday morning, the coach has not been informed that he will be a part of Urban Meyer‘s new OSU coaching staff.
Arizona State, Illinois, Kansas and Washington State are among the handful of schools that could be looking for a new coach in short order as well.