- Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
- U.N.: Afghanistan slow to enforce law protecting women
- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after ‘Blackfish’ documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- South Africans hold day of prayer for Nelson Mandela
- Mandela not on life support in final hours, friend says
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle removed from North Korean state documentary
- Thailand crisis deepens as opposition quits Parliament
- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
NC State fires O’Brien after 6 seasons
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien entered the season with hopes of contending for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Instead, his program continued its up-and-down ways of the past six years _ which ultimately cost him his job.
The school fired O'Brien on Sunday, ending a tenure that was good enough to reach four bowls yet never could reach the ACC championship game.
Athletic director Debbie Yow made the announcement one day after the Wolfpack finished a 7-5 regular season with a win over Boston College. During a news conference, Yow said she met with O'Brien on Friday to discuss the future of the program, then notified him of her decision Sunday before meeting with the coaching staff and players.
“I told them it’s really fairly simple,” Yow said. “Coach O'Brien and I agree on the goal of becoming a Top 25 program. We just don’t agree on what it takes to do that, how to get there.”
O'Brien went 40-35 after coming to Raleigh from Boston College following the 2006 season. He took the Wolfpack to three bowl games, but won’t coach in a fourth when N.C. State receives its bid next week. Yow said O'Brien’s buyout would be $1.2 million over four years.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have coached at North Carolina State University and I feel that the program is in a better place now than when I started,” O'Brien said in a statement issued by the school.
The 64-year-old O’Brien, who went 75-45 in 10 seasons at B.C. with eight consecutive bowl berths before his departure, said at his December 2006 hiring that it was “N.C. State or bust for me.”
N.C. State says offensive coordinator Dana Bible will be the interim coach for the bowl game. All other assistants are staying to continue bowl preparations.
“He’s proud of the program we’ve built both here and at Boston College,” said Bible, a longtime assistant to O'Brien. “He’s very proud of the way he and we have gone about the business of football. And he’ll let his record stand as it may.”
O'Brien’s teams were just 22-26 in ACC play and finished above .500 in the league just once, going 5-3 in 2010. He was 1-14 in Atlantic Division road games.
Only three ACC teams _ No. 13 Florida State (10-2), No. 15 Clemson (10-2) and rival North Carolina (8-4) _ had better overall records this season than the Wolfpack, who were 4-4 in the league.
That was good for third in the Atlantic Division behind Florida State and Clemson _ exactly where they were picked in the preseason poll.
But consistency was a problem all season.
They opened with a 14-point loss to a Tennessee team that went on to finish 5-7. They blew a late 10-point lead and allowed an ACC-record 566 yards passing in a loss at Miami. They followed their first loss to rival North Carolina in six years by being routed at home 33-6 by a last-place Virginia team that had lost six straight. They also gave up 62 points in a loss at Clemson.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Sen. Rand Paul pushes 'economic freedom zones' for Detroit
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- New Internet security challenge arises for cybercops
- Wife of Obama aide found dead in burning car in home's garage
- Congress creates a legislative fortress for military sex-assault policy
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
"Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better." - Dr. Richard Paul
Go beyond tourism's "top 10" bus tour destinations with Susan McKee as she explores the varied history, culture, food, and gardens, of the world.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!