Memphis fires coach Larry Porter

Memphis has fired coach Larry Porter after two seasons with the Tigers, the school announced Sunday.

Porter, 39, a former star running back for Memphis, was hired after the 2009 season from LSU in hopes the former Les Miles assistant could rebuild a moribund program.

But Memphis finished off a 2-10 season Saturday with a 44-7 loss at Southern Miss, its second 2-10 season in three years after going 1-11 in 2010.

"The expectations for the 2011 season were to see marked improvement in the team," Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson said in a statement. "Now that the season has been completed, I do not feel that we have seen enough improvement for the future to justify keeping this football staff in place for another year."

There was no immediate timetable for hiring Porter's replacement. The university has scheduled a press conference for Monday. Johnson and university president Dr. Shirley Raines will discuss the future of the athletic program and a plan for naming a new coach "as quickly as possible," according to the release.

Porter was 3-21 in his two years as Memphis coach, including 1-14 in Conference USA play.

Porter had expressed hope last week, saying "the worst is behind us."

Porter coached at Tennessee-Martin, Arkansas State and Oklahoma State before joining Miles at LSU, where Porter had coached running backs since 2005 and gained a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the nation.

Porter ranks sixth in career rushing at Memphis with 2,194 yards, and scored 20 touchdowns from 1990-93.

"We want to thank coach Porter for his efforts as our football coach but believe that it is in the best interest of our program to make a change at this point," Johnson said. "We were proud to have Larry Porter, one of our former football lettermen, as our head coach and wish him nothing but the best in his future athletic endeavors."

After a disappointing 2010 season, the pressure to replace Porter grew early this season fueled by a 47-3 loss at Arkansas State in the second game. A 27-6 win over FCS-team Austin Peay helped, but the Tigers won only one more game -- 33-17 over Tulane in New Orleans.

By that point, the Tigers' fan based had lost interest, and those still following the team were frustrated when Memphis blew fourth-quarter leads over UAB and Marshall in the season's closing weeks.

Information from ESPN's Joe Schad and The Associated Press was used in this report.