Eastern Michigan Fires Rasnick

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Rich Rasnick, 20-34 in five seasons at Eastern Michigan, was fired as football coach.

Eastern Michigan athletic director Dave Diles fired Rasnick late Monday night, Diles said Tuesday.

Rasnick, 40, was in the final year of a five-year contract. The Eagles are 4-6 this season with one game remaining.

Diles, who has been on the job four months, said Rasnick took the firing "professionally."

He said part of reason was Rasnick's overall record, especially against rivals Western Michigan and Central Michigan.

"I felt it was best to make a change at this time to begin an immediate search for a new head football coach," Diles said.

"After undergoing a very thorough and comprehensive assessment of our football program, I'm convinced that Rick Rasnick is not the person to take our football team to a Mid-American Conference championship level."

The Eagles are 4-3 in the Mid-American Conference and in a three-way tie for second place in the West Division.

Diles said he hopes to have a decision on a new coach in three weeks. The assistant football coaches will not have their contracts renewed but are expected to continue to work until a new coach is hired, he said.

Rasnick came to Eastern Michigan after fours seasons as offensive coordinator at Utah. He replaced Ron Cooper, who left for Louisville.

Defensive coordinator Tony Lombardi will direct the team Saturday against Northern Illinois.

Lombardi, 37, said he is interested in the head coaching job and will apply. He has been part of the Eastern Michigan football staff for three seasons.

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