Christopher Smith

Eastern Michigan Fires Coach

Created on Nov. 09, 2013 1:31 PM EST

In a move unusual for its timing, Eastern Michigan fired coach Ron English on Friday, the day before the Eagles face rival Western Michigan.

Eastern Michigan (1-8, 0-5) hadn't won since beating FCS school Howard on Aug. 31, and English was 11-46 as head coach.

"At this time, I have decided that a change in the leadership of our football team is necessary," athletic director Heather Lyke said in a statement Friday.

The press release also said the school will begin a national search for a new coach "immediately," though the presence of assistant coach Stan Parrish, who has head coaching experience, likely gave Lyke confidence to make the move with three games left.

Parrish, the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and now the interim head coach, likely is not the long-term replacement at 67 years old. He came out of "semi-retirement" in August after spending the previous three winters in nearby Ann Arbor, Mich. Not wanting to move across the country, but itching to coach again, Parrish found a match.

"Coach (English) needs to have a good year, and I want to help him have a good year. That's the bottom line on why I came," Parrish told the Ann Arbor News in August.

Parrish is 63-60-3 as a head coach for Wabash (1978-1982), Marshall (1984-85), Kansas State (1986-88) and Ball State (2008-10).

English finished 6-6 in 2011, but did not win more than two games in any other season.

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