Christopher Smith

Army Fires Coach Rich Ellerson

Created on Dec. 16, 2013 8:16 PM EST

One day after Army lost its 12th consecutive game to Navy, the program decided to part ways with coach Rich Ellerson, the school announced Sunday.

Ellerson, who led the Black Knights to a 7-5 record in 2010 and a win over SMU in the Armed Forces Bowl, went 8-28 in the last three seasons and failed to win more than three games in a year.

"This is a very difficult day for all of us at West Point," athletic director Boo Corrigan said in a statement. "Rich Ellerson has represented West Point and the Army football program extremely well since taking over as our head coach five years ago. He has been a tremendous role model for our cadet-athletes and great mentor for many within the athletic department.

"Unfortunately, our team has not experienced the level of success on the football field that we expect, and we feel it is necessary to make a change in leadership at this time."

Ellerson went 56-34 in eight seasons at Cal Poly prior to coaching Army. A number of his family members are connected to the institution, including his father (West Point graduate, career Army officer) and two brothers (one captained the 1962 Army football team and another graduated from West Point).

Army is one of four FBS head coaching jobs open as of Monday night, including Texas, Arkansas State and Bowling Green.

It's tough to win many football games at Army, where players understandably have more to focus on than football. The Black Knights haven't won more than seven games since 1996 under Bob Sutton (10-2), and the team promptly slipped to 4-7, 3-8 and 3-8 the next three years under Sutton.

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