Mike Stoops is out as football coach at the University of Arizona after a 1-5 start this season- starting with a 41-10 rout of Northern Arizona, then losing to Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, USC and Oregon State.
Stoops finished with a 41-50 record at Arizona after joining the program in 2003. The Wildcats went to their first bowl game in 10 seasons under Stoops, winning the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl over Brigham Young.
Arizona then went 8-4, playing in the Holiday Bowl in 2009, and going 7-5 and playing in the Alamo Bowl last season.
Here's what AD Greg Byrne said in a newsletter to Arizona supporters:
"Today I write to you to announce that Mike Stoops has been relieved of his duties and will no longer be the head coach of the Arizona football program. Coach Stoops did many things to improve our program and we are appreciative of his efforts.
"This decision is the result of an ongoing evaluation of our program since my arrival a year and a half ago. While Coach Stoops did an admirable job and was able to re-establish Arizona as a football contender, it is a critical time for our football program, and I feel we need a change in leadership. Defensive coordinator Tim Kish will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of this season.
"I recently met with the team to notify the players of my decision. I also have spoken with the football staff. Our immediate focus is the team. The support service areas that take care of our team – such as academics and medical services – will continue to provide our student-athletes with first-rate support.
"We have nearly two dozen seniors on our football team and we want them to finish their Arizona career by playing in a bowl game. We need you to continue to show the seniors and the entire team your support. I look forward to seeing you next Thursday against UCLA.
"We will begin a search immediately for our next head football coach. I expect the search to end sometime after the regular season is over, so please be patient as we go through this process. Something I will work at diligently is to keep public information to a minimum during the process. This is important to an effective search process. During this time please be patient and cautious not to get caught up in unofficial news and/or speculation from media, message boards, or other reports from people claiming to have heard this or that rumor. I may send out an occasional note via Twitter, but other than that the next time you will hear anything from me about this search is when we introduce our new coach.
"I'm sure I'll receive a lot of emails, calls and letters suggesting that we need to hire a certain candidate. I am always pleased to hear your input and glad that you care. We will make the best decision for Arizona Football, which means being open to a variety of candidates. Please know that we will have access to information on candidates that the general public may not have. There are reasons that a certain candidate would or would not be considered based in part on that information. So whomever we hire I want you to know we will go to great lengths to ensure we have as much information as possible before we make a decision."
More when we know more...