- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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NC State coach Tom O'Brien has been fired after a disappointing 7-5 season, the school announced Sunday.
O'Brien will not coach in the upcoming bowl game. Offensive coordinator Dana Bible has been named interim head coach, and all assistants have been retained through at least the bowl game, with an opportunity to pursue positions with the new head coach.
A national search for a successor is now under way.
Even though O'Brien has led the Wolfpack to three straight bowl games, his teams have failed to live up to expectations throughout his tenure. O'Brien went 40-35 in six seasons -- but just 22-26 in the ACC.
This season provides the perfect example of how NC State fell short of what many believed could be an outstanding season. The Wolfpack were embarrassed in the season opener by a Tennessee team that won only one SEC game. But they pulled the upset of the season when they took down then-No. 3 Florida State 17-16 to put NC State in the driver's seat in the Atlantic.
But that was a short-lived dream. NC State ended up dropping games to North Carolina and a head-scratcher to Virginia, finishing with losses in three of its final five games.
"Coach O’Brien’s service to NC State over the last six years has been sincerely appreciated by Wolfpack Nation,” athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement. “We especially appreciate his attention toward NCAA rules compliance, a value that will continue to be held by NC State. We wish him well in future pursuits.”
A closer look at his overall ACC record reveals an 11-19 mark against Atlantic Division opponents -- including 1-14 on the road.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have coached at North Carolina State University and I feel that the program is in a better place now than when I started,” O’Brien said in a statement. “I’m proud of the young men that I have coached here, for their accomplishments on the field and in the classroom. Wolfpack football is as sound academically as it’s ever been with a [single-year] APR of 990 to be reported this spring. I appreciate all of my coaches and wish them the best and I look forward to life after football.”
4dDavid M. Hale