Falwell fires football coach, two administrators

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- The Rev. Jerry Falwell cleaned house at
Liberty University's athletic department, firing the football coach
and two top administrators while another resigned.

"For the past year we have been very unhappy with the direction
of football here," Falwell said Friday in a phone interview with
The Associated Press. "We have good men ... but we just have
different philosophies of getting to where we want to go. ... We
want to go I-A."

"We're winning in everything except in football," he added.
"So we've taken a clean sweep."

Coach Ken Karcher's dismissal came two days before the Flames'
final game at Norfolk State. Karcher, who is 21-45 in six years at
Liberty and 1-9 this season, was given the news before practice
Thursday. He declined comment.

Karcher was in the first year of a four-year contract. He signed
an extension in December despite three losing seasons in his first
five years.

Athletic director Thom Park resigned and two associate athletics
directors were fired.

"We're not even playing par I-AA football here, so obviously we
have to start over, and that's what we're doing," said Falwell,
chancellor of the school he founded.

The school's athletic program lost $7.4 million in 2004, the
biggest drain by any department on Liberty's overall budget.

Falwell said he already has talked to three head coaching
candidates and plans to have the positions filled within two weeks.

"I'm 72," he told The News & Advance of Lynchburg. "I don't
have much time to get the football program in the Top 20."