Memphis Football Coach Tommy West Relieved Of Duties
Nov. 9, 2009
MEMPHIS, TENN. - University of Memphis head football coach Tommy West has been relieved of duties as announced by Athletic Director R.C. Johnson today. He will coach the remaining three games, and a search for his replacement will begin immediately.
"Coach West certainly exemplifies, as you have heard me say, the terms Class, Dignity and Style and I want to thank him for everything he has done to elevate the bar by which our football program is measured," said Johnson. "I have asked Coach West to coach our final three games of the season and would ask every Tiger fan to attend Saturday's game against UAB as a tribute to not only Coach West, but our seniors who have meant so much to our program."
"The search will start immediately for a new head coach and I will assure you that I have not hired a coach nor do I have one in my back pocket that I will bring in tomorrow," added Johnson. "I would like to move as fast as possible for the sake of recruiting, but will not be able to address media questions on a regular basis until the search has been completed."
West has served as the Tigers' head coach since 2001 and has led the squad to a bowl appearance in five of the previous six seasons. West took the U of M to its first bowl game in 32 years when the Tigers advanced to the 2003 New Orleans Bowl. That squad defeated North Texas in the post-season game and finished the year with a 9-4 record. West also led the 2004 team to an 8-4 mark, and the 2005 squad to a 7-5 record, becoming only the second head football coach in school history to win seven or more games in three straight seasons.
"Although the decision is a difficult one, I support Athletic Director R.C. Johnson's direction for our University's football program," said U of M President Dr. Shirley Raines. "During his tenure as our head football coach, Tommy West has brought excitement back to Tiger football fans. Our student-athletes continue to improve on the field and in the classroom. I have personally enjoyed working with him and wish him and his family the best."
The Tigers will host the UAB Blazers in the Battle For The Bones on Saturday at 12 p.m. CT. The game will be carried live by CSS. As the last home game for the Tigers, 25 seniors will be honored prior to kickoff. Memphis closes its schedule on the road at Houston (Nov. 21) and Tulsa (Nov. 27).