Mike Sanford fired as Western Kentucky head football coach

BOWLING GREEN, Ky Mike Sanford has been fired as head football coach of Western Kentucky, the school announced Sunday.

Sanford spent two seasons with the Hilltoppers, collecting a 9-16 overall record, 6-10 in Conference USA play.

"I would like to thank Mike for his dedication and passion leading our football program over the last two years," Athletic Director Todd Stewart said in a press release. "His commitment to bettering the lives of our student-athletes is unquestioned. However, based on a complete review of the total body of work of our program over the last two years and assessing the likelihood of meeting our future expectations, I felt it was time that we make a change in leadership. This was not an easy decision and was not made lightly."

The 36-year-old coach replaced Jeff Brohm who went to take the coaching position at Purdue following back-to-back Conference USA championships, going 6-7 in his debut seasons and dropped to 3-9 in 2018, losing nine of its first 10 games of the season but closed out the year with two consecutive wins over UTEP and Louisiana Tech.

"As we continue to elevate WKU's instructional and inquiry missions, the same expectation for excellence extends to our athletics programs as well," University President Dr. Tim Caboni said in a release. "In consulting with Director of Athletics Stewart, I agree that for us to achieve the success we expect in WKU football, it is time to make a leadership change. Mike Sanford is a man of character, and we appreciate his service to our community."

A search for his replacement is already underway.