Fresno State fires football coach Tim DeRuyter

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Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter will not return to the team. Athletic director Jim Bartko made the announcement at noon on Sunday.

Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter will not return to the team. Athletic director Jim Bartko made the announcement at noon on Sunday.

"Tim DeRuyter is a man of high character - a class individual who is a leader of young men," said Bartko. "Over the time I've been here, the football program has shown it has the ability to be a product the Red Wave can be excited about, but the results have not been to the standard we anticipated and expect.

"When you make a coaching change the evaluation process covers many aspects of the program. Through this process the decision was made to make a change at this time. There are five remaining football games on the schedule, and the focus will be to prepare and put this team in a place to create success and engage the fan base. We look forward to Eric's leadership, starting with Friday's Salute to Service game against Air Force."

Tim DeRuyter signed a 5-year contract with Fresno State in 2014, so he will be paid through 2019.

The Bulldogs are 1-7 this season and 30-30 overall under DeRuyter, although they're 10-24 in his last 34 games after a 20-6 start.

Offensive Coordinator Eric Kiesau will take over for the rest of this season and speculation has already begun about who could helm the team in 2017 with Fresno State alumni such as Jeff Tedford, Lane Kiffin and Tim Skipper at the top of the list.

DeRuyter's tenure as the program's 17th head football coach began in 2012. He took over a team that went 4-9 the year before and turned the tables by leading Fresno State to a pair of Mountain West championships and a 20-6 record over the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Before the DeRuyter era started, Fresno State had not won a conference championship since 1999 and in his first two seasons the 'Dogs won back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1992-93.

"Coach DeRuyter and his family have been passionate ambassadors for our University and our community and I am grateful for their valuable contributions," said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. "I have appreciated his focus on developing the leadership abilities of our student-athletes while winning our first Mountain West Conference Championship. However, after evaluating the current state of the program, a change has to be made.

"The path to greater heights of success in athletics -- and in life -- is neither smooth nor straight. Our commitment to academics and athletics boldly rising together is unwavering. Student success, inside and outside of the classroom, remains the highest priority for our University."

Fresno State said a national search for Fresno State's next head football coach will begin immediately.

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