UMass fires coach Walt Bell after 2-23 record over 3 seasons


AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts fired coach Walt Bell on Sunday after he went 2-23 over three seasons leading the Minutemen.

Athletic director Ryan Bamford announced defensive coordinator Tommy Restivo also had been relieved of his duties. Offensive line coach and run game coordinator Alex Miller, a former four-year starter at UMass, was named interim coach for the final three games of the season against Maine, Army and New Mexico State.

The 37-year-old Bell took over one of the the toughest jobs in major college football in 2019, but showed few signs of turning it around. UMass fell to 1-8 on Saturday, losing 35-22 to FCS school Rhode Island. The lone victory for UMass this season came against Connecticut (1-8), which made a coaching change earlier this season.

The Minutemen played only four games last season, losing them all, after the school initially canceled the fall football season because of the pandemic.

Bell had been an offensive coordinator at Arkansas State, Maryland and Florida State before landing his first head coaching job in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The Minutemen have not won more than four games in any season since moving up to FBS in 2012. UMass has been playing as a football independent since 2016.


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