Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford swept out the old Monday, informing offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau, defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, the Bulldogs’ position coaches and support staff that their contracts will not be renewed for the 2017 season.
“I would like to thank Coach Eric Kiesau and his staff for the hard work they put forth during a difficult season,” Tedford said in a release posted on the athletics department’s Twitter account. “Their dedication to their craft and tireless effort to keep their team engaged was commendable.
“As we move forward, I felt it was best for this program to have a fresh start as we start to build for the future.”
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Fresno State’s offensive staff this season included running backs coach Dave Ungerer, offensive-line coach Mark Weber, wide receivers coach Burl Toler III and tight ends coach Joe Bernardi. On defense, Pete Germano coached the line, Nick Toth the inside linebackers and Jordan Peterson the outside linebackers. Ward coached the secondary while coordinating the defense.
Football chief of staff Lou Major and director of player personnel Jimmy Morimoto also were not retained.
None of the moves was unexpected coming off a 1-11 season in which the Bulldogs struggled, particularly on offense. Fresno State put up only 17.7 points per game, last in the Mountain West and 125th of 128 in the nation, and in a season-ending 16-14 loss to San Jose State generated only 245 total yards.
The Fresno State offense struggled throughout a 1-11 season, ranking last in the Mountain West in scoring and total offense. The Bulldogs scored only 17.7 points per game and with 329.3 yards per game were last by a wide margin. Utah State is in 11th in the conference with 376.7 yards per game.
Fresno State posted its assistant coaching positions before the end of the season – the position coach spots close Thursdayand the coordinator positions close Friday. When Tedford was introduced as the new coach Nov. 11, Athletic Director Jim Bartko said the program’s salary pool for assistant coaches would remain at about $1.6 million.
Tedford was unavailable for further comment.
But in a previous interview, he said the goal is to have at least some coaches hired before a recruiting dead period starts Dec. 12 and a full staff in place by the time it ends Jan. 11 so that the program can make a last-month push toward national letter-of-intent signing day Feb. 1.
Until hires are made, Tedford will have graduate assistants Sean Alston, Todd Hunt and Ryan Springer, assistant director of player personnel Zach Bell, offensive analyst Brad Vonnahme and special-teams quality control assistant Lucas Gingold working on the second floor of the Duncan Building.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada