BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana football coach Bill Mallory has been fired, the school announced at a press conference Thursday, though Mallory will continue to coach the team through the end of the season.
“The last two years we’ve encountered some tough times. These guys have worked hard, paid the price. We just haven’t done what we set out to do. I accept the responsibility,” said Mallory, who had to fight back tears as he spoke at a news conference in Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers (2-6 overall, 0-5 in the Big Ten) have lost six straight games. They are 4-15 over the past two years and have lost 13 straight conference games. Indiana lost to Michigan and Penn State the past two weeks after leading both games in the first half. The Gophers haven’t played the Hoosiers in two seasons.
A search has already begun for Mallory’s replacement, athletics director Clarence Doninger said.
“Bill created some of his own problems,” Doninger said. “If you’ve studied Indiana football, we’ve always been in that lower third. Bill got us above that. A lot of our fan base said that is not enough.
“So the person that comes in is not going to have the chaos Bill had when he was here.”
Mallory, in his 13th season at Indiana, is the school’s all-time winningest coach with a 68-75-3 record. However, the Hoosiers haven’t reached a bowl game since 1993. Last year’s 2-9 mark was the Hoosier’s first losing record since Mallory’s first team went 0-11.
Doninger said he assessed the Indiana football program last year and gave Mallory a vote of confidence. He made another assessment at midseason this year and determined it was time to look for a new coach.
“Our program has been a great program,” Doninger said. “We had gone to another plateau, and there’s a downward momentum now that’s going to be hard to turn around.”
Mallory, 61, took over a struggling Indiana program in 1984 and brought it back to respectability. The team appeared in five bowls from 1986-91, going 40-28 during the span.
After nine years as an assistant at Bowling Green, Yale and Ohio State from 1960-68, Mallory began his head coaching career at Miami of Ohio in 1969, compiling a 39-12 record over five seasons. He moved on to take over at Colorado for five years (35-21-1) before going 25-19 at Northern Illinois from 1980-83. His career head coaching mark is 167-127-4.