Walt Bell, 2-23 over three seasons, fired as UMass football coach

UMass has fired coach Walt Bell after he went 2-23 over three seasons with the Minutemen.

The 37-year-old Bell took over one of the toughest jobs in major college football in 2019 but showed few signs of turning the team around. UMass fell to 1-8 on Saturday, losing 35-22 to FCS school Rhode Island. The lone victory for UMass this season came against UConn (1-8), which made a coaching change earlier this season.

Defensive coordinator Tommy Restivo was also dismissed Sunday. Run game coordinator/offensive line coach Alex Miller, a former four-year starter at UMass, will serve as the interim head coach for the final three games of the season against Maine, Army and New Mexico State.

The Minutemen played only four games last season, losing them all, after the school initially canceled the fall football season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bell had been an offensive coordinator at Arkansas State, Maryland and Florida State before landing his first head-coaching job in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The Minutemen have not won more than four games in any season since moving up to FBS in 2012. UMass has been playing as a football independent since 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.