His voice nearly cracking, Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt somberly laid out some of the many reasons why Randy Shannon was right for the Hurricanes.
The academic success. Improved recruiting classes. His decades as part of the Miami family.
Then there were 22 reasons that Hocutt couldn't ignore — the games Miami lost under Shannon. In the end, those carried more weight than anything else.
A coach who left an indelible mark on Miami's past will not be part of its future, and the Hurricanes started the process of moving on Sunday, with former offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland taking over on an interim basis, and players gathering for a tearful meeting.
"Change is difficult and change is hard," Hocutt said Sunday. "But change, sometimes, it's necessary. And this time, this change was necessary."
Hocutt's firing of Shannon surprised some Miami players. Hocutt's next move might be even more shocking.
A person with knowledge of Miami's search told The Associated Press on Sunday night that Jon Gruden received "parameters" of an offer from the Hurricanes. Gruden, the former Tampa Bay coach who now an ESPN analyst, is atop Miami's wish list, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because university officials did not authorize the release of search details.
Gruden — who signed a lucrative extension with the Buccaneers through the 2011 season and is still collecting an estimated $5 million annually from that deal — issued a statement through ESPN late Sunday, saying "I am committed to Monday Night Football and to ESPN." He added that he enjoys hosting with Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski, and that he's "just trying to get better at this job."
Hocutt fired Shannon on Saturday night, hours after Miami lost to South Florida in its regular-season finale.
The Hurricanes fell to 7-5, still have yet to play for an Atlantic Coast Conference title and lured only 26,369 fans — many of them rooting for the visitors — to Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, the smallest home crowd since Larry Coker's last home game in 2006.
HOOSIERS FIRE COACH: Indiana has fired football coach Bill Lynch after four seasons.
Athletic director Fred Glass made the announcement one day after Lynch became the first Indiana coach to win at Purdue since 1996.
Lynch took over as Indiana's interim coach after the late Terry Hoeppner died in June 2007. In his first season, he took Indiana to its first bowl game since 1993.
Since then, though, the Hoosiers have had three straight losing seasons.
CAJUNS DISMISS HEAD COACH: Louisiana-Lafayette has fired football coach Rickey Bustle, a person familiar with the decision told The AP on Sunday.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the university has not announced the move, says athletic director David Walker plans to discuss Bustle's firing at a regularly scheduled basketball media luncheon on Monday.
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