In Tommy West's last season at Memphis, the Tigers went just 2-10. Larry Porter was brought in to improve the talent level starting with the local athletes. Porter was credited with bringing in some talent; however two seasons later, Larry Porter was released Sunday after winning just 3 games in 2 seasons.
Porter inherited a difficult situation without much depth or talent. In both of his seasons, Porter started true freshman quarterbacks.
The Memphis job is currently a difficult one. Tennessee historically has dominated the state in terms of recruiting. Vanderbilt is clearly on the rise. Ole Miss, just an hour away, will soon have a new coach, who undoubtedly will recruit the Memphis area hard. Even Arkansas State is now taking some players from the city. We understand the athletic director plans to step down within the year as well. At a school who's basketball team has done quite well, the commitment to the football program has not been so clear. Local financial support (i.e. Fedex) isn't as strong as it could be and is something the new staff and administration will need to shore up.
Couple all of that with the fact that inner-city Memphis is seeing increases in crime and poverty as well as education issues and this won't be an easy place to win.
Attendance was very, very low this season and it's going to take some new found excitement to begin to fill the Liberty Bowl again. Hate to use the term; but this really sounds like a rebuilding job.