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Published: Saturday, 11/29/2008

Bowling Green fires Brandon

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN Gregg Brandon was fired as football coach of Bowling Green State University Saturday morning, just hours after the Falcons defeated rival Toledo 38-10 to end their year with a disappointing 6-6 record.

BGSU athletic director Greg Christopher said 'an accumulation of things' both on and off the field went into his decision to fire Brandon, who accepted a three-year contract extension in February.

"There have been some off-the-field things that I think ultimately have impacted what's happened on the field," Christopher said at a news conference Saturday night at Anderson Arena.

In six seasons as head coach of the Falcons, Brandon went 44-30 overall and 31-17 in the Mid-American Conference. His winning percentage (64.6) in the MAC is the best of any league coach since 2003.

Under Brandon's watch, BGSU played in three bowl games and in the 2003 MAC championship.

Despite having 17 seniors back from last season's 8-5 team, BGSU did not live up to preseason expectations of contending to win the MAC East. The Falcons finished 4-4 in the MAC despite holding fourth-quarter leads in each defeat. Losses at home to Eastern Michigan and Miami were 'the tipping point' for Christopher as those teams finished the year a combined 5-19.

"The period of time where I really started having serious concerns that we were headed in this direction was probably in the window of the Eastern Michigan and Miami games," Christopher said.

Christopher said he was disappointed in, but did not base his decision on, Brandon's criticism of BGSU fans for poor attendance in the Falcons' 40-34 double-overtime loss to Buffalo on Nov. 21 at Perry Stadium.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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