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Utah fires McBride

Utah fired football coach Ron McBride on Monday, two days after the Utes' finished with their second losing record in three seasons.

Athletic director Chris Hill told McBride Monday he would not return next season.

"While we appreciate Ron's efforts — and he certainly has done some great things here — I feel our football program has stagnated and it is time to look to someone else to take us where we want to be," Hill said.

McBride coached Utah for 13 seasons and took the Utes to six of their nine bowl games. He won 88 games, second only to Ike Armstrong's 141 from 1925-49. But the Utes had a six-game losing streak this season that sparked speculation that it would be McBride's last at the school.

The Utes won their final three games, including Saturday's 13-6 victory over state rival Brigham Young, to close the season. But the team's 5-6 record meant the Utes would not be eligible for a bowl.

McBride was 88-63 at Utah with a 3-3 record in bowl games after last season's 10-6 win over Southern California in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Utes finished that season 8-4 after going 4-7 the year before.

McBride succeeded Jim Fassel, who coached the New York Giants to the Super Bowl two years ago. Fassel never enjoyed that kind of success in Salt Lake City. Utah had three losing seasons in his last four years and added another when the Utes went 4-7 in McBride's debut in 1990.

But what followed was a definite turnaround. The Utes went 7-5 in 1991 and the next season beat Air Force for the first time en route to the school's first bowl appearance in 28 years.

Utah made five more bowl trips and tied for two conference titles during McBride's tenure. Utah finished at No. 10 in the final AP Top 25 poll for the 1994 season, when the Utes went 10-2 for their best record ever.