After a 1-7 start to 2016, Tim DeRuyter is done at Fresno State. The Bulldogs fired him on Sunday and named offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau the interim coach. Kiesau came to Fresno State this year, after serving as an analyst on Alabama’s national championship team last season.
DeRuyter went 30-30 in his tenure in Fresno but after going 11-2 in 2013, the Bulldogs have fallen off. They won the Mountain West Conference’s West division the next year, but barely got into a bowl game with only six regular season wins.
2015 saw the Bulldogs miss a bowl game, going 3-9, and the team again could not get off the ground in 2016. The team’s 38-20 loss to Utah State was evidently the final nail in the coffin for DeRuyter.
DeRuyter made a lot of money by Mountain West standards after he signed an extension in January of 2014.
The deal is worth $7.5 million in base salary -- between $1.4 and $1.6 million per season with an opportunity to earn between $500,000 to $700,000 a year in performance bonuses.
According to a USA Today database of coaching salaries, DeRuyter was the highest compensated MWC coach in 2015.
As for who will replace Deruyter, Bulldogs alum Jeff Tedford seems to be a reasonably educated guess. The former Cal head coach is currently a staff consultant for AP No. 4 Washington.
The Kiffin talk to Fresno seems a tad unrealistic, especially given how he likely won’t be available until January. Tedford however…— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 23, 2016
I would fully expect former Cal coach Jeff Tedford to be the leading candidate at Fresno State. Tedford is... https://t.co/vPdhfZUEDM— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 23, 2016
Fresno State’s athletic director said the school hadn’t yet talked with Tedford.
Bartko on Tedford: had no discussions— Bryant-Jon Anteola (@Banteola_TheBee) October 23, 2016
Fresno State has enough recent pedigree to demand greater success beyond being just a .500 team. Before 2011, the Bulldogs had won fewer than nine games only twice in this millennium. Former coach Pat Hill built a brand out west that could contend for conference titles.
That’s the caliber of program the folks in Fresno will demand from whoever replaces DeRuyter.