Rip Scherer Relieved of Duties
Nov. 20, 2000
MEMPHIS, TENN. - Rip Scherer, who had served as the head football coach at The University of Memphis for the past six seasons, was relieved of his duties on Sunday, November 19th. Scherer, who had been hired in 1995 to head the Tiger program, had not had a winning season in his six years at the Memphis helm and ends his tenure with an overall record of 22-44.
"Rip Scherer is one of the classiest individuals I have ever had the opportunity to work with and that made my decision even more difficult," said Athletic Director R.C. Johnson. "He and his staff have done everything we have ask of them except win. They have run a first class operation with no hint of impropriety, but the bottom line in this business is winning games. Therefore, I have decided we need a change in direction for the program."
Scherer came to Memphis from James Madison University in Virginia where he led the Dukes to a 29-19-0 record and two appearances in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs during a four year span, 1991-94.
The Tigers won three games during Scherer's inaugural season in Memphis. Hopes for the future of Tiger football increased dramatically during the 1996 campaign as Memphis won four games, including a stunning 21-17 win over the fifth ranked Tennessee Volunteers.
In 1997, the U of M matched its 4-7 record of 1996, but fell to 2-9 in 1998. The 1999 season showed hope for the Memphis program as the team improved to 5-6, including wins in three of the final four games of the season.
However, after opening the 2000 season with four victories in the first six games, the U of M lost four consecutive games by a total of 12 points and after dropping the finale to Tulane, ended the year with a 4-7 record.
"The search for a new football coach will begin immediately," Johnson stated. "There is an immediacy in putting a new coach in place as soon as possible, due to his need to hire a staff and get started with recruiting."