Chris Ash Fired as Rutgers Head Coach After Blowout Loss to Michigan

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2019

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 28: Head coach Chris Ash of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights look on in the first quarter while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Rutgers has fired head football coach Chris Ash after a 1-3 start to the 2019 season, as first reported by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.

The team confirmed the news in a statement, announcing tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile will take over as the team's acting head coach.

Ash released a statement on his firing:

"I’d like to thank Dr. Barchi and Pat Hobbbs for the opportunity to serve as Rutgers Head Football coach. Thank you to the fans and the state of New Jeresy for all of your support. I’ve had the pleasure of coaching so many outstanding young men during my time here. I loved all our players and appreciate the effort they gave everyday on and off the field."

The Scarlet Knights suffered a 52-0 loss to Michigan Saturday, the team's second shutout loss so far this season. Over their last three games, they have been outscored 112-16 with two of the losses coming against conference opponents.

Ash was in his fourth year with the program, producing just seven wins in his first three years combined. This included a 1-11 campaign in 2018, which likely put him on thin ice to begin this season.

The blowout losses to kick off 2019, with the squad ranking outside the top 100 in both points scored and points allowed per game, didn't help his prospects.

"Progress has been achieved in many areas, but, unfortunately, that progress has not been realized on the field of play," athletics director Pat Hobbs said in the statement. "As such, it is in the best interest of the program to make a change."

Ash joined the team after serving as defensive coordinator at Ohio State and could be tapped for a similar role after an unsuccessful head coaching stint.

Meanwhile, Rutgers will try to find someone who can at least replicate the success of previous head coaches Kyle Flood (27-24) or Greg Schiano (68-67).