Tommy West Fired From University Of Memphis

Posted: November 10, 2009 in Memphis
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Tommy West was fired as the head coach of the University of Memphis football team. West had a few words for Memphis football fans. West said, “Now is the time to stand up for your university and your football program. I’m the seventh straight coach that’s standing here saying the same thing to you. This is the seventh straight time this has happened. History will continue to repeat itself folks, if they don’t do anything about it. Whoever they hire they’ll hire a good guy and I’ll pull for him. But our fans have got to demand you have to demand that you give him an equal stick to fight with within our conference. You’ve got to give him a level playing field. Give him that.”

Tommy West was hired at Memphis in 1999 under Rip Scherer to serve as the defensive coordinator and a year later became the Tigers’ 21st head football coach. West has guided the U of M to five bowl game appearances in the last six years and is one of just two coaches in Tiger football history to win seven or more games a season in four years.

West enters the 2009 season with a 47-51 record at Memphis, and ranks third all-time in total wins among Tiger leaders. As a team, the Tigers finished the season 22nd nationally in rushing offense and 26th in total offense. The squad also ranked in the top 10 nationally in fumbles lost, time of possession and first downs.

In 2004 when, despite the games being nationally-televised by ESPN, nearly 100,000 total fans turned out for the final two home games of the season. Memphis averaged 41,175 fans in its five home games. West stressed academics to his squad, and his Tigers have responded with some of the highest grade-point averages that the program has ever seen. In the spring 2003 semester, the football team placed a record number of student-athletes on the Tiger 3.0 Club, and the squad turned in the highest cumulative GPA ever with a 2.6. For the spring 2006 semester, the Tigers announced the most 3.0 students ever with 32, and for the 2005-06 school year, 62 Tigers had earned a 3.0 or higher.

Coaching Experience

• 1979: Assistant (running backs) at Ole Miss under Steve Sloan – Ole Miss finished the season with a 4-7 record and placed seventh in the SEC
• 1980-81: Assistant (receivers) at Appalachian St. under Mike Working – Was elevated to offensive coordinator in 1981
• 1982-89: Assistant (outside linebackers) at Clemson under Danny Ford – Clemson played in the 1985 Independence Bowl, 1986 Gator Bowl, 1987 Citrus Bowl, 1988 Citrus Bowl & 1989 Gator Bowl
• 1990: Assistant (running backs) at Tennessee under Johnny Majors – Tennessee played in the 1990 Sugar Bowl
• 1991-92: Defensive Coordinator at South Carolina under Sparky Woods
• 1993: Hired as Head Coach at UT-Chattanooga and led Mocs to 4-7-0 record
• 1993: Hired as Head Coach at Clemson to replace Ken Hatfield for Peach Bowl game
• 1994-98: Head Coach at Clemson – Led Tigers to a 31-28 record and appearances in the Gator Bowl (1995) and Peach Bowls (1996, 1997)
• 2000: Defensive Coordinator at the University of Memphis – Led the Tigers to a fifth place national ranking in total defense and a number one ranking in rushing defense
• 2001-Present: Hired as Head Coach at Memphis in 2001 to replace Rip Scherer – Led Tigers to three consecutive winning seasons from 2003-05 and post-season appearances in the New Orleans Bowl (2003 & 2007), GMAC Bowl (2004), Motor City Bowl (2005) and St. Petersburg Bowl (2008)


• Named Tennessee Sports Writers Association Football Coach of the Year in 2003
• Was inducted into the All-American Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 2002



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