UMass has fired head coach Mark Whipple.
"SOURCE: #UMass is making a head coaching change and moving on from head coach Mark Whipple after a 4-8 season," Bruce Feldman tweeted on Tuesday.
Whipple, 16-44 in his second stint as Minutemen head coach, is the fourth FBS head coach fired this week and eighth this year:
Who might UMass target as Whipple's replacement? Some potential candidates:
Current Position: Associate Head Coach, Receivers Coach – Buffalo
Once a hot up-and-comer who became the 44-year-old head coach at Akron in 2010, Rob Ianello has slowly drifted off the radar after two disastrous years with the Zips (2-22).
The former Power Five assistant (Alabama, Wisconsin, Arizona, Notre Dame and Kansas) is in his fourth season on Lance Leipold's staff and has done brilliant work with the Bulls' offense.
He could be in line for another Power Five job if a program poaches Leipold. If not — or if he wants another head-coaching shot — UMass might be an option.
Current Position: Defensive Coordinator – Mississippi State
This couldn't be a better fit.
Before Shoop became a Power Five coordinator in 2011, he spent nearly two decades bouncing around the northeast, including a one-year stop at UMass (defensive backs coach). He has head-coaching experience (Columbia, 2003-05), brings name recognition and a loaded résumé and could assemble a hell of a staff.
Current Position: Head Coach – The Citadel
If UMass considers the triple option, what about Brent Thompson?
After 10 wins in 2016, Thompson's first season as head coach after two years on Mike Houston's staff, the Bulldogs have stumbled to nine total wins the last two years. However, he has extensive ties in the northeast and would an interesting candidate if UMass wants the triple option but can't get a big fish.
Current Position: Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line Coach – Army
Another triple-option coach, Brent Davis is in his fifth season at Army and has played a huge role in the rebuild under Jeff Monken. He's been with Monken since 2010 (Georgia Southern) and runs the triple-option offense as well as any coach in the country.
He was reportedly a candidate for the Georgia Southern job last year.
Current Position: Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Line Coach – Temple
A Brooklyn native who's spent a lot of time in the northeast, Jim Panagos is in his second season on Geoff Collins' staff.
He doesn't have any head-coaching experience — or coordinator experience for that matter — and wouldn't be a sexy hire but is quickly becoming a highly regarded position coach and has recruited the area.