UMass will take the program in a different direction and move on from the Mark Whipple era FootballScoop has confirmed. The AP has previously reported the same and the news was first reported by Bruce Feldman.
Whipple was hired for his second stint as the leader of the Minutemen back in 2014 and led them to 16 wins in five seasons. The program was 4-8 this season and finished the 2017 season at 4-8 as well. His first three seasons back with the program saw marks of 3-9, 3-9, 2-10.
Whipple’s first time around as the UMass head coach was back from 1998-2003 when UMass was still a member of the FCS (or I-AA as it was referred to then. He went 12-3 and won the national title his first season and in 2003 he led the program to a 10-3 mark with a first round exit in the I-AA playoff. The next season he was found himself on the Steelers staff coaching the quarterbacks.
At 61, Whipple’s coaching journey has taken him from the small college level (St. Lawrence and Union College), to the Ivy League where he started as a position coach at Brown before eventually becoming head coach in 1994. He spent time as the assistant head coach / offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami for a few seasons, and also has NFL stops with the Steelers, Eagles, and Browns – all since 2004.
His coaching tree consists of Troy head coach Neal Brown, who got his coaching career with Whipple at his alma mater after wrapping up a playing career as a wide receiver for the Minutemen. In 2003, Brown coached the tight ends and served as an assistant offensive lien coach. The other branch of Whipple’s coaching tree worth noting is Phil Estes, who just yesterday stepped down after a long run where he leaves as the second-winningest coach in Brown history after succeeding Whipple as the head coach back in 1998.
His full-time staff at UMass consists of Ed Pinkham (DC / secondary), Charles Welker (STC), Spencer Whipple (PGC / QBs), Sean Duggan (LBs), Steve Costello (CBs), Mike Foley (OL), Leonard Hankerson (WRs), Darrius G. Smith (RBs), Dave Wissman (DL), Scott Woodward (TEs).
UMass joins Colorado, Texas State, Louisville, Bowling Green, Charlotte, and Maryland as the current open jobs at the FBS level. Kanas had also opened, but they’ve of course filled their vacancy with the hiring of Les Miles.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.