Bicknell fired after eight seasons at Louisiana Tech

Updated: January 12, 2007, 10:03 PM ET
Associated Press

RUSTON, La. -- Louisiana Tech fired football coach Jack Bicknell on Monday following a 3-10 season.

Bicknell leaves after eight seasons and an overall record of 42-53.

"It was a good ride," Bicknell said. "We battled extremely hard and did the very best we could every single day. This team never backed down from anybody. We took on all comers all of the time."

The school will buy out the remaining two years of his contract. The contract was extended by two years last January, and the school said then that his base salary was $150,000 per year.

"This was a very difficult decision," Tech athletic director Jim Oakes said in a news release. "Jack Bicknell has led this football program with class and integrity. He is an outstanding coach who has achieved success here. Unfortunately, a change has to be made with the direction of our football program."

During his tenure at Tech, Bicknell led the Bulldogs to the program's first Associated Press Top 25 ranking in 1999 when the program went 8-3 and recorded a 29-28 win over No. 18 Alabama, the eventual SEC Champion.

Two years later, Bicknell led Tech to the 2001 Western Athletic Conference championship and an appearance in the Humanitarian Bowl.

"This is very difficult for me because coach Bicknell is the reason I came here," said junior linebacker Quin Harris. "It's very difficult to take, knowing how much I respect him as not just a coach, but as a person. He's made a huge impact on my life, both athletically and as a person."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press