Bicknell out as La. Tech football coach

Monday, December 4th 2006, 12:05 pm
By: News On 6

RUSTON, La. (AP) _ Louisiana Tech University fired head football coach Jack Bicknell on Monday following a 3-10 season capped this past weekend by a 50-23 loss to New Mexico State in Las Cruces.

Bicknell leaves after compiling an overall record at the schoool of 42-53.

``This was a very difficult decision,'' Tech Athletic Director Jim Oakes said in a news release. ``Jack Bicknell has led this football program with class and integrity. He is an outstanding coach who has achieved success here. Unfortunately, a change has to be made with the direction of our football program.''

The school will buy out the remaining two years of his contract. The contract had been extended by two years last January, and the school said then that his base salary was $150,000 per year.

Bicknell was promoted from offensive line coach to head coach in 1999 to replace Gary Crowton.

Bicknell led the Bulldogs to the program's first-ever Associated Press Top 25 ranking in 1999 when the program posted an 8-3 mark and recorded a 29-28 win over No. 18 Alabama, the eventual SEC Champion.

Two years later, Bicknell led Tech to the 2001 Western Athletic Conference championship and an appearance in the Humanitarian Bowl.