RASNICK LEAVES UTES TO BECOME HEAD COACH AT EASTERN MICHIGAN

Published: Thursday, Jan. 5 1995 12:00 a.m. MST

The price of success for a winning football program is that it's difficult to keep a good coach.

That's what has happened to the University of Utah football team, which has lost offensive coordinator Rick Rasnick to Eastern Michigan University, where he was named head coach Wednesday.The 35-year-old Rasnick has been at Utah for the past four years and has been one of the big reasons for the Utes' offensive success. The past three seasons, Utah

has averaged 445, 485 and 420 yards per game as one of the top offensive teams in the nation. This year's Ute team finished fifth in scoring with a 38-point average.

Rasnick replaces Ron Cooper, who was recently named head coach at Louisville. Before coming to Utah, Rasnick was the offensive coordinator at San Jose State for four years.

"I'm very excited about it," said Rasnick, upon returning to Salt Lake Wednesday night. "I went back there Tuesday and they offered me the job. I must have met about 200 people today."

Rasnick said he has mixed emotions about leaving Utah, but his dream has always been to be a college head coach.

"I really enjoyed it at Utah," he said. "They always treated me first class and I had a lot of fun here."

Eastern Michigan is a I-A school in Ypsilanti that plays in the Mid-American Conference. EMU's records the past two years were 4-7 and 5-6.

"We're very excited to have a person of Rick Rasnick's talent and experience to take over our program and move it forward," said EMU executive vice president Roy Wilbanks. "We are looking forward to a long and happy association with Rick Rasnick."

Ute coach Ron McBride, in California on a recruiting trip, said he is "happy" for Rasnick and his opportunity to be a head coach. But McBride said he will likely wait until recruiting is concluded next month before naming a replacement for Rasnick.

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