UMass has fired head coach Charley Molnar, the school announced Thursday morning. Molnar is relieved of his duties after leading the Minutemen to back-to-back 1-11 seasons.
"We want to thank Charley Molnar for his service and the extraordinary time and energy he devoted to coaching the Minutemen as we entered competition in the Football Bowl Subdivision," UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said in a prepared statement. "It has become clear, however, that we must improve our performance in several areas and move in a new direction to ensure success in the FBS. Going forward, we must build a strong foundation to win on the field and stimulate enthusiasm and support for the program throughout the university community."
Before making his head-coaching debut at UMass in 2012, Molnar spent 27 years as an assistant at various levels. He got his start coaching wide receivers, tight ends, running backs and kickers at Lock Haven University, his alma mater, in 1984, before moving on to be a grad assistant at Virginia in 1986. After two years in Charlottesville, he served as offensive coordinator/running backs coach at Western Carolina for one season in 1989.
The next 16 years saw Molnar make stops at several smaller programs throughout the Midwest. He was offensive coordinator at Illinois State and Kent State, wide receivers coach at Eastern Illinois, quarterbacks coach at Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan. In 2005 he was hired as OC at Indiana State, and in 2006 he joined Brian Kelly's staff at Central Michigan as passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks/receivers coach.
Molnar moved with Kelly to Cincinnati in 2007, serving as passing-game coordinator and receivers coach. When Kelly went to Notre Dame in 2010, Molnar followed, taking over as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for two seasons.
In addition to Molnar's 2-22 record with the Minutemen being an obvious issue, some of the school's alumni felt he was too hard on players in practice. Many at UMass would like to see the program drop back down to FCS after spending the last two years in FBS.
"I fully support the decision regarding the head coaching position in football," school chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in the statement. "Our program must foster a positive environment in which our student-athletes thrive both athletically and academically. Furthermore, it is critical that in addition to ensuring on-field success our next coach earns the support of alumni, faculty, students and fans. I am confident that UMass football will continue to improve and will excel at the FBS level."