"Following a thorough evaluation of the team's on-field performance over the past several years, it has been determined that the program would be best served with a change in leadership. I truly respect and appreciate Coach Hill's commitment, hard work, accomplishments and positive elements that he brought to Fresno State Football over the past 15 years," Boeh said.
Hill came to Fresno State as head coach in 1997. He led the Bulldog program into the national spotlight, highlighted by a program-best No. 8 national ranking during the 2001 season when the 'Dogs set a school record with 11 wins. Hill's record at Fresno State was 112-80 (.583). Hill also led the Bulldogs to a strong Academic Progress Rate score and achieved success in the classroom.
In all, Hill produced 24 NFL draft picks and has produced at least one All-American in eight of the last 11 years. During his tenure, he had 62 players named to the All-WAC first team.
Fresno State has won just one of its last five bowl games. The Bulldogs have a 28-19 (.596) league record over the past six seasons, with an average finish of fourth in the conference standings. Since 2006, Fresno State has posted an 11-29 (.275) record against teams with a .500 record or better while going 21-14 (.600) at home over that period.
The Bulldogs have clearly struggled against the top three WAC teams each year since 2006, posting a 3-15 overall record. Against all bowl eligible teams since 2006, Fresno State is 8-22. The trend over the last six years has contributed in a 42% decline in season ticket sales and a 25% drop in ticket revenue.
Fresno State finished with a 4-9 record this year and a 3-4 WAC mark. The nine losses are tied for the most losses in a single season in school history. The Bulldogs closed out the 2011 season with a 35-28 loss at San Diego State on Saturday.
"This was a difficult process but I fully support the decision. Thomas and I have reviewed the options and we will continue to meet regularly and discuss the future of our football program," Fresno State President Dr. John D. Welty said. "We thank Pat Hill for his service and advancement of the program as head coach at Fresno State and wish him the best in his future endeavors. I anticipate that the search process will result in a smooth and effective transition as we move forward."
Hill has two years remaining on his employment agreement. Boeh said Fresno State will fulfill the terms of that agreement, which will compensate Coach Hill at a predetermined percentage of his base salary over three fiscal years, offset against any compensation he may receive via future employment.
Boeh said that Fresno State will hire a firm to help conduct a national search to name a replacement at the earliest possible date.