YPSILANTI (AP) – Eastern Michigan fired football coach Ron English on Friday with three games left in a losing season marred by tragedy.

The Eagles are 1-8 entering Saturday’s game against Western Michigan. English went 11-46 at the Mid-American Conference school, but more than half those victories came in the 2011 season and he was unable to build on that success.

“At this time, I have decided that a change in the leadership of our football team is necessary,” athletic director Heather Lyke said. “Eastern Michigan University’s commitment to our student-athletes remain of the utmost importance as we move forward with the rest of this season and in selecting the new leader of our program.”

A message was left with English seeking comment.

Stan Parrish will be the head coach for the rest of what has been an extremely trying season for the Eagles. Demarius Reed, a receiver from Chicago, was found fatally shot at an apartment building on Oct. 18.

“This has been an extraordinarily challenging year for our football student-athletes and they have continued to represent Eastern with pride and professionalism,” EMU President Susan Martin said. “At this time of transition, it is important that Eastern Michigan fans and alumni everywhere continue to show their support for our student-athletes.”

English was hired before the 2009 season, and the former Michigan assistant went 2-22 in his first two years with the Eagles. Then came 2011 — and signs of hope. The Eagles went 6-6 that year, falling one win short of bowl eligibility because two of their victories were against Football Championship Subdivision teams.

Eastern Michigan did snap a streak of 15 straight losing seasons, but the Eagles went 2-10 last year and have lost eight in a row this season. Eastern Michigan allowed at least 50 points in five of the final six games of English’s tenure.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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