Scherer Receives Contract Extention
Nov. 2, 1999
MEMPHIS, TENN. - University of Memphis head football coach Rip Scherer, who is in his fifth season with the Tigers, has had his current contract extended for two years through January of 2004. Scherer, who was hired in January of 1995, has directed the U of M team to a 3-5 record this season, however, four of the five losses have been by a total of eight points.
"After having watched this football team throughout the season, I have seen significant improvement and feel that now is indeed the proper time to announce a contract extension for Rip Scherer," said Memphis Athletic Director R.C. Johnson. "It was determined when the season started that I would not necessarily look at wins and losses but at the improvement of the team as to the future direction of the program. I think all of my questions have been answered."
The Tigers ended the 1998 season with an offense that averaged 379.75 yards per game over the final four games. However, the Tiger defensive average slipped to 455.3 yards per game allowed and the team finished the season with the defense ranked 106th in the nation.
This year's Memphis team has shown steady improvement in all areas of play. The offense is averaging 380.0 yards per game over the past three contests and the defense has made a dramatic climb to 16th in the nation. The Tigers held last year's national champion Tennessee to just 202 yards of total offense and held Tulane's potent 19th ranked offense in check for a 49-7 victory.
"The program is growing and continuing to make strides," Johnson stated. "To help create stability and keep the program moving in the right direction, I wanted to make this announcement now.
"I have always had five criteria for my coaches and staff which include high graduation rates, a strong public relations effort, having a program that abides by Conference USA and NCAA regulations, one that lives within the programs budget and one that produces wins," Johnson added. "Coach Scherer has met and exceeded four of the five criteria and I feel that the fifth is just a matter of time."
Memphis is currently in fourth place in the latest Conference USA standings and plays two of its final three games at home in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, including a nationally televised game this weekend against C-USA front-runner Southern Mississippi.
"Given that all of the team's preseason goals are still attainable, we wanted to make this announcement so that the coaches and players could focus on the remaining games without distractions," stated Johnson. "It is also vital to our recruiting, given the number of outstanding prospects in the Memphis area."
Due to time constraints with practice, game preparation and recruiting, no details of the contract extension have been worked out. It is expected to be finalized sometime after the first of the year.