Western Michigan Fires Head Coach Tim Lester
Tim Lester just signed a contract extension in the spring. But that means nothing if you don't win.
Western Michigan Upsets Toledo, Fires Coach Anyway
After upsetting Mid-American Conference West Division champion Toledo 20-14 at home in Waldo Stadium on Friday, WMU Athletic Director Don Bartholomae pulled the plug and fired head coach Tim Lester on Monday.
Lester's Broncos had finished 5-7 in 2022, Lester's first losing season in his six season in Kalamazoo.
Following the school's announcement, Lester issued a statement on Twitter thanking the University for his six years there.
"I am disappointed I won't get to lead the Western Michigan football program and these players in the future," he wrote, "it has been an honor for me and my family to represent Western Michigan University and be a member of the Kalamazoo community."
Lester had just signed an extension for three years in the spring. The University will buy out his contract for $500,000 says ESPN.
Lester Was A Record Setting Quarterback At Western
Lester started his playing career at Western Michigan earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors in 1996. He was a Second Team All-MAC selection his junior and senior seasons. He finished his Bronco career ranked fourth in FBS history in passing yards (11,299) and sixth in touchdown passes (87). Lester set 17 school passing records and eight MAC records.
"Coach Lester is a cherished WMU alumnus who has been a part of some of the most successful football seasons in our history, both as a student-athlete and as a coach," said Bartholomae. "He has represented Bronco Nation with integrity and with class, and he will always be welcomed in Kalamazoo and in our campus community. I am thankful for our year working together and will be rooting him on in his future successes."
School Has Bigger Ambitions According To ESPN
An article about the firing on the ESPN web site says the school has high ambitions since going to the Cotton Bowl under now Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck back in 2017.
Western Michigan is one of the higher-resourced jobs in the MAC, with one of the top salary pools for head coach and for assistant coaches. Sources told ESPN that the university had bigger ambitions and wanted to consistently compete at the top of the MAC West.