November 27, 2011

Kansas fires former Arlington Heights star Gill after two seasons

College notes

Kansas fired football coach Turner Gill after two losing seasons and with three years remaining on a contract that still owes him about $6 million.

The school announced the move in a news release Sunday, the day after the Jayhawks lost 24-10 to rival Missouri and finished the season 2-10.

Gill, a former star quarterback at Fort Worth Arlington Heights and Nebraska, was 5-19 at Kansas. He was hired by athletic director Sheahon Zenger's predecessor, Lew Perkins, and given a five-year, $10 million contract.

The university says Zenger informed Gill of his decision late Sunday afternoon. He also said he would honor the terms of Gill's deal.

Zenger said recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell would be interim coach.

Gill came to Kansas from Buffalo, a perennially downtrodden Mid-American Conference team that he led to a league championship. At Kansas, he replaced Mark Mangino, who was fired in 2009 amid allegations he mistreated players.

Gill said late Saturday that he had not spoken with Zenger, but sounded optimistic -- it took him three years to make Buffalo into a winner.

"I do think we made good progress," he said. "I guess it may be we have more to go than we anticipated, including myself coming in. I just think we can still get some things done here and move this program in the right direction and do the things we need to do, win games and win bowl games."

Football changes

Illinois: Coach Ron Zook was fired after the Illini followed a 6-0 start to this season with a six-game losing streak. Zook and the Illini finished their collapse with a 27-7 defeat at Minnesota on Saturday. Zook finished 34-51 at Illinois. He took the 2007 team to the Rose Bowl and lost to USC. Last season's squad beat Baylor in the Texas Bowl. Zook came to Illinois in 2005 after being fired in his third season at Florida.

Memphis: Memphis fired coach Larry Porter after going 3-21 in two seasons leading his alma mater. He came to Memphis after spending five years on the LSU coaching staff under Les Miles where he had a reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters.

Arizona State: Dennis Erickson is out as Sun Devils coach, The Associated Press reported, citing an unidentified source. Erickson will meet with athletic director Lisa Love as early as today and, at 64, could be allowed to retire rather than be fired. He is unlikely to be with the team for any bowl game it might play in. Erickson's job came into jeopardy after Arizona State lost its final four games following a 6-2 start. He was 31-30 in five seasons in the desert.

UAB: Neil Callaway has resigned as football coach at UAB after failing to post a winning record in five seasons. Athletic director Brian Mackin announced the move a day after the Blazers finished 3-9 with a 38-35 loss to previously winless Florida Atlantic. In Callaway's five seasons, the Blazers went 18-42.

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