Rice fires coach David Bailiff after 11 seasons

Rice head coach David Bailiff puts his hands up in the air for the Rice school song, as a fan drapes a Rice flag over his shoulders after their 30-14 loss to North Texas on Saturday. (AP)

The David Bailiff era at Rice has come to an end.

Two days after the Owls finished the season with a 1-11 record, Rice parted ways with Bailiff. Bailiff ends his tenure with a 57-80 (40-48 C-USA) record in 11 seasons at Rice.

“We have made the decision to part ways with Coach David Bailiff after 11 seasons,” Rice AD Joe Karlgaard told Fox 26 Sports.

“It’s excruciating, and that’s because of the man that David Bailiff is,” Karlgaard said. “He’s a high-character man. He’s led our program with integrity. Our student athletes represent the institution extraordinarily well. Our football alumni are involved. David graduates the kids.

“We have engineers and scientists on our team, and kids who aspire to play in the NFL. In many ways our program has been everything that we want it to be. Just hasn’t been there with the wins and losses the last couple of years, and felt like this was the time that we needed to reset that.”

Rice won 10 games and the Conference USA title in 2013, but things have gone downhill since. The Owls won eight games and the Hawaii Bowl in 2014 but followed it up with records of 5-7, 3-9 and finally 1-11 in the three years after.

Aside from a three-year bowl streak between 2012 and 2014, Bailiff led the Owls to just one other bowl berth. That was in 2008 when they went 10-3, tied for first in the C-USA West and beat Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl.

Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde mentioned former Houston head coach Tony Levine, now an assistant at Purdue, as a possible candidate for the opening.

Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, who first reported Bailiff’s dismissal, is reporting that Stanford coordinators Lance Anderson (defense) and Mike Bloomgren (offense) and South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper are “expected to get consideration” for the job as well. Roper played quarterback at Rice in the early ’90s.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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