Murray St. will not renew contract for Pannunzio

Saturday, November 19, 2005

MURRAY, Ky. -- Murray State University officials announced Friday they would not renew the contract of football coach Joe Pannunzio.

Allen Ward, who das been the athletic director for the university since March, said he would not recommend an extension for Pannunzio, who completed his sixth season Thursday night.

The Racers lost 49-20 to Tennesseee-Martin to conclude a 2-9 season that included an 0-7 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Pannunzio, who led Murray State to the 2002 OVC championship, had a record of 30-37 in his six seasons.

Ward called it a "tough decision," according to a press release on the university's Web site.

"After taking the time to carefully evaluate our football program this season, I feel it is best at this time to move in a new direction," Ward said. "I sincerely want to thank coach Pannunzio for his service to the university, and I wish him the very best in his future coaching endeavors.

"In light of the struggles we have had on the field this year, I felt the recommendation to not renew coach Pannunzio's contract is the only one I could make at this point. It is unfortunate that we could not have been more successful this season, which might have allowed me to consider other factors more extensively before making my recommendation."

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