KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan Bronco football program lost more than just a game Saturday.
Shortly after the team's 29-23 home loss to lowly Eastern Michigan, head coach Bill Cubit was fired with one year still remaining on his current contract.
"I want to thank Coach Cubit for his years of service and recognize the work he and all of his assistants have done over the years in support of our student-athletes," said WMU Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard. "I also want to thank Nancy and the entire Cubit family for what they have meant to this community."
Saturday's loss (the team's fifth in the last six games) dropped the Broncos to 4-8 overall and 2-8 in the Mid-American Conference, and closed out their worst season in Cubit's eight-year tenure as head coach. He was 51-47 overall and 36-27 in the MAC.
"Although this is a time of transition, the expectations of our department remain the same. Our vision and mission is winning division and conference titles and growing our number of postseason bowls. We continue to value student-athlete success academically and expect them to be great citizens in this community," Beauregard said.
Cubit leaves Western as the fifth winningest football coach in school history.
In his first season in 2005, Cubit led the Broncos, who were 1-10 the season before, to the biggest one-year turnaround in MAC history.
The Broncos went to three bowl games under his tenure --
- 2007 International Bowl (lost 27-24 to Cincinnati)
- 2008 Texas Bowl (lost 38-14 to Rice)
- 2011 Little Caesars Bowl (lost 37-32 to Purdue)
WMU played in just two bowls before Cubit was hired.
He also coached six players at Western MIchigan who became National Football League draft picks.
WMU set new program records for grade-point average four times with Cubit as coach.
The search for a successor is now underway.
A sheriff's deputy car and a Michigan State Police SUV were among the damaged vehicles.
A fire damaged three garages and some homes in a Grand Haven neighborhood early Thursday morning.
The suspects stole cash and fled the scene.