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Published: Monday, 10/29/2001

Navy fires coach after loss to UT

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Charlie Weatherbie was fired as coach of Navy yesterday after leading the Midshipmen to a bowl victory five years ago but winning just once in the last 18 games.

Defensive coordinator Rick Lantz was appointed interim coach of the winless Midshipmen.

In six-plus seasons at the Naval Academy, Weatherbie had a record of 30-45. The team had lost 17 of its last 18 games and is 0-7 this season after Saturday's 21-20 loss at Toledo.

"This season, unsuccessful to date, has led us to the conclusion that the Midshipmen clearly need a new perspective and consequently new leadership," athletic director Chet Gladchuk said.

Weatherbie's career at Navy was highlighted in 1996, when the team went 9-3 and won the Aloha Bowl. In 1997, the team went 7-4, but has won just nine of 41 games since.

Weatherbie said he and his family "thoroughly enjoyed" his time at Navy.

"While we weren't able to achieve more success during the past two years in terms of our won-loss record, I am extremely proud of our players' and staff's efforts on and off the field," he said.

Lantz returned to Navy this year after serving as defensive coordinator at Virginia the past 10 seasons. He will be a head coach on the college level for the first time.



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