Molnar fired after 2 seasons
FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2013 file photo, Massachusetts head coach Charley Molnar talks to one of his coaches during the first half of their NCAA football game against Maine in Foxborough, Mass. UMass Director of Athletics John McCutcheon announced Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 that Molnar had been fired after a 2-22 record in the program's first two seasons in the Bowl Subdivision. Molnar has three years remaining on this contract for approximately $836,000. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2013 file photo,, Massachusetts head coach Charley Molnar wipes his brow on the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game where his team lost to Vanderbilt 24-7 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. UMass Director of Athletics John McCutcheon announced Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 that Molnar had been fired after a 2-22 record in the program's first two seasons in the Bowl Subdivision. Molnar has three years remaining on this contract for approximately $836,000. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Charley Molnar was fired as the University of Massachusetts football coach on Thursday. Molnar was 2-22 in two years as head coach and 2-14 in the Mid-American Conference.
A terse, six-paragraph statement issued by the UMass athletic department quoted athletic director John McCutcheon explaining it was time to “go in a new direction” in order to “build a strong foundation” for “success in the Football Bowl Subdivision.”
The search for a new coach will be aided by a committee of more than a few and less than a thousand, including members of the Board of Trustees, the UMass Amherst Foundation Board, faculty, students, alumni, senior administration and CarrSports Consulting, an intercollegiate headhunting agency.
Molnar was hired away from Notre Dame, where he’d been offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He’d coached at 11 different colleges in 25 years, but UMass was his first stop as head coach. He left with three years and $836,000 left on his contract and it ends another sad chapter in the saga of UMass being where it doesn’t belong.
Three weeks ago McCutcheon told a local newspaper, “Charley is our coach. We’re making progress in the program.”
According to a reliable source, Molnar’s demise became necessary when recruits began reneging on their verbal commitments to play at UMass. “It was in free fall, they had to do something.”
With national signing day in less than six weeks, teams are making renewed efforts to find players for needs not filled.
According to 247sports.com, Army wanted running back J.T. Blyden of Cardinal O’Hara High School in Pennsylvania before he committed to UMass on July 1. Blyden was assured he’d stay at tailback, but with the coaching unrest, the Black Knights have fresh ammo for a renewed effort.
Likewise, Boston College and Virginia both offered scholarships to defensive end Joshua Smiley of the Pomfret School before he committed to the Minutemen last summer, and JMU and Old Dominion might make another run at offensive tackle Dan DiNicola.
Not that UMass has a great recruiting class, teams are simply circling the corpse of a program susceptible to defections. Going into the homestretch, 247sports.com ranks UMass 99th on the recruiting depth chart and Rivals.com has it 114th of the 125 schools in the FBS.
Molnar never had a chance. He wasn’t the greatest coach to begin with, but even Bill Belichick would have had trouble winning with this team.
Jim Reid, where are you now that we need you?