Skipper replaces Stewart, university talks about Hill's Future

FRESNO, Calif.

A loss in New Mexico on Saturday led to a shakeup among Bulldog coaches, and new questions about head coach Pat Hill's future.

Saturday's humbling loss to New Mexico State not only knocked Fresno State out of bowl contention, but it caused a major shakeup on Pat Hill's coaching staff. Sunday night longtime assistant Randy Stewart stepped down as the team's defensive coordinator.

The struggling Bulldogs have limped out to a 3-and-7 record one major area of frustration this year has been the play of the defense. Fresno State ranks as one of the worst nationally in just about every defensive category

On Saturday, the Bulldogs gave up 48-points and over 500 yards of total offense -- on their way to their first ever loss to New Mexico State.

"I didn't think I'd be sitting up here saying we get outplayed by New Mexico State but we did," said Pat Hill. "We've had some close calls where we thought we had a chance to turn the season around. We've spiraled out of control defensively. I'm never going to doubt our football team we're just going to keep playing. If we're not good enough I'll take the responsibility for that. We're 3-7 I got to get that thing better."

Linebackers coach Tim Skipper takes over for Stewart as defensive coordinator for the final three games of the season. Skipper also played middle linebacker for Fresno State back in the late 90's.

The Bulldogs visit WAC rival Hawaii Saturday


The patience of loyal Bulldogs fans has been severely tested this season.

Pat Hill talked with Fresno State Athletic Director Thomas Boeh after the game in Las Cruces. But Hill said their meeting had nothing to do with job performance.

The fans have been heard loud and clear. Many left at halftime when the Dogs were getting blown out by Louisiana Tech. Fresno State's first ever loss to New Mexico State on Saturday fueled the fire.

"I'm a big Pat Hill fan. Love the guy. Love what he's done for the program but maybe change its good," said Martin Vindiola. "Maybe it's that time. He's done his time here. 15 years. Maybe bring in someone new. See what we can do."

On Monday Fresno State Associate Athletics Director Paul Ladwig gave Pat Hill a vote of confidence. "Pat Hill is our football coach. Pat Hill is gonna be our football coach. Nothing is going to change. Nothing to going to happen during the season."

Hill said he spoke with athletic director Thomas Boeh after the Bulldogs loss to New Mexico State. "He knows we're going through tough times. He was very good. It wasn't a meeting about to talk about my future or anything like that. It was nothing about my job."

Ladwig says that evaluation will take place after the season.

Pat Hill took a $300 thousand pay cut when he signed a three-year extension at $650 thousand per season. Some fans say it wouldn't make sense for the school to eat that big contract.

"Let him stay with this young quarterback Derek Carr," said Javier Morales. "See how it goes. At least one more year."

Over the last 15 years Hill has led Fresno State to 11 bowl games.

Pat Hill says his status has been up in the air for 5-6 years. Other programs have used that against Fresno state on the recruiting trail.

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