Editor's note: We wanted our UA community to be aware of an important message that our director of athletics sent to fans and supporters of Zips athletics.
As you know, we announced Saturday evening that Rob Ianello will not return as our head football coach. Coach Ianello and his staff worked hard for our football program, and I am appreciative of their efforts.
These decisions are never simple. The evaluation process that we conduct for all 19 of our varsity teams is ongoing and comprehensive. Coach Ianello and I communicated constantly during his tenure, and we had many conversations over the final weeks of the season regarding the future of our football program, including in the days leading up to our last game. I was aware that Coach's mother had passed away earlier that week and of his travel arrangements, but we talked after Friday's game and agreed that it would be best that I share with him my decision once it was final. I called him as soon as possible on Saturday to inform him that we would move in a new direction.
In the end, I determined that this decision is in the best interest of our student-athletes and our football program. While we have improved in academics, compliance and our community involvement – and we will continue to emphasize those areas – we also believe and aspire to be more competitive on the field. I know all Zips fans are eager to see our team succeed as well.
As we look ahead to the next chapter of Zips Football, it will be important that everyone associated with The University of Akron welcome the new coach and his staff to our University and the Akron community. I know our fans are looking forward to learning who will lead our program, and I ask for your support – especially by purchasing season tickets and attending games – so that we can build a championship program together.
We already have begun our search process, which will move as quickly as possible while we do our due diligence to ensure we identify the best candidate. Even though the 2011 season is over, we are mindful that, because of recruiting, this is still an important time in our college football calendar.
I welcome your feedback as part of the process. As always, you can contact me with any suggestions you have, whether it is specific candidates or just characteristics that you feel are important for our next coach to possess. While I may not respond to every submission, please know that I will read all of them. I also will not comment publicly on the search until we announce our new head coach.
As I told our nearly 100 football student-athletes, the future is bright for Zips Football and I am excited for them and for this new opportunity. There is a great amount of interest in this position, and we will identify a terrific leader to guide our program.
Thank you for your support of Zips Athletics. I look forward to introducing you to the next leader of Akron Football.
Director of Athletics