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Paul Roach, saying simply that the time had come, has stepped down as Wyoming's football coach and named Washington State offensive coordinator Joe Tiller as his successor.

Roach, who had seven years remaining on a contract extension he signed in 1988, said Wednesday it was time for him to concentrate fully on his other job as Wyoming's athletic director."I believe that without any reservations we've given it a great effort, and we are leaving, or I am leaving, with some great and fond memories," he told a news conference. "In regard to the timing of this, I don't think that there is a good time.

"It's kind of difficult to describe, except, that I think that you get a feeling that it is the right time."

The announcement was not a surprise, as Roach had indicated following Wyoming's final regular-season game on Nov. 17 that the strain of serving as both head coach and athletic director was wearing on him.

During the press conference Roach, who took over the Wyoming program four years ago, said the time was nearing when he would no longer be able to competently handle both jobs.

"When we began four years ago I made a statement that if ever the athletic department or the football program would suffer ... I would be the first to recognize it and step aside," said Roach.

"I don't think either program is suffering, but I think we are nearing that point," he said.

Roach, an assistant football coach at Wyoming during its "glory days" between 1962 and 1970, returned to Wyoming five years ago as executive director of the university's booster club.

Less than a year later he was hired as athletic director, and when football coach Dennis Erickson bolted from Wyoming after the 1986 season, Roach took over the football program.

The coach, whose background includes assistant coaching jobs in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Raiders when they were in Oakland, and Green Bay Packers, was an immediate success.

In four years his Wyoming teams have won two Western Athletic Conference titles, have compiled an overall record of 35-14, including a 26-6 mark in conference play, and have gone to three bowl games, including the upcoming Copper Bowl on Dec. 31 against California.

Roach also was named WAC coach of the year following both the 1987 and 1988 seasons.

Tiller is familiar with Wyoming's program, as he served as Roach's offensive coordinator in 1987 and 1988.

The incoming coach said he does not plan any major changes in the offensive and defensive schemes that Roach has implemented.