UNT fires defensive coordinator after 2-10 season

Updated: January 4, 2008, 4:16 PM ET
Associated Press

DENTON, Texas -- North Texas defensive coordinator Ron Mendoza was fired Friday after a 2-10 season in which the Mean Green gave up more than 70 points in two games and 66 in another.

Mendoza, also the linebackers coach, came to North Texas with Todd Dodge, who made the rare jump last year from high schools to head coach in the highest division of college football. Mendoza and Dodge spent seven years together at Southlake Carroll.

"These decisions are never easy, but ultimately I have to take the steps necessary that I believe will help build the football program at the University of North Texas," Dodge said.

North Texas finished last in the nation in scoring defense at 45.1 points per game and was near the bottom in total defense and rushing defense.

The Mean Green struggled from the start, losing the opener to Oklahoma 79-10 after falling behind 49-0 at halftime. Navy had nearly 600 rushing yards in a 74-62 victory, the highest-scoring game in major college history. North Texas lost 66-7 at Arkansas.

The season finale didn't have numbers that shocking but was just as difficult for North Texas. Florida International snapped a 23-game losing streak, the longest in major college football, with a 38-19 win that featured three touchdown passes by a quarterback making his first start.

Dodge brought three other high school assistants with him, including two from Carroll -- offensive coordinator Todd Ford and Robert Drake, who coaches special teams and defensive tackles.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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