Snyder out as Marshall coach

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall has fired Mark Snyder after five seasons as head coach, a person close to the situation told ESPN's Joe Schad.

In an announcement released later Sunday by the school, Snyder said he agreed to resign in the best interests of the program.

Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said Snyder will be paid the remaining three seasons on his contract, the Charleston Daily Mail reported.

Marshall went 21-37 in Snyder's tenure. The Thundering Herd finished their season 6-6 Saturday with a 52-21 loss at UTEP.

"It has been an honor to be the coach here and I will always be appreciative of the opportunity my university gave me," Snyder, a 1988 Marshall graduate, said in a statement. "I want to thank all of the fans for their support and all of my players and assistant coaches for their hard work and dedication. I wish the program nothing but the best."

Marshall athletic spokesman Randy Burnside said assistant coach Rick Minter would serve as interim coach if Marshall plays in a bowl game and the other assistant coaches would be retained for a bowl.

Hamrick said a search for a permanent head coach will begin immediately.

When Hamrick was hired on July 20, he said he would take a wait-and-see approach on Snyder's handling of the team.

"I want to thank Mark for his five years of service to Marshall University," Hamrick said. "He is a Marshall guy and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Marshall lost three of its last four games, becoming bowl eligible on its third attempt two weeks ago in a 34-31 win over SMU.

Attendance at Marshall home games fell steadily under Snyder and fans became increasingly agitated over the team's performances.

Marshall's stadium was half empty for its final three home games and the team averaged 22,236 in attendance this season, the lowest under Snyder and 2,000 fewer per game than a year ago.

Snyder came to Marshall just before the start of spring practice in 2005 after four seasons as an assistant at Ohio State. His hiring coincided with Marshall's move from the Mid-American Conference to Conference USA. But Snyder never produced a winning season and Marshall hasn't been to a bowl since 2004.

Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.