Blue Hens fire football coach Brock

Dave Brock

Dave Brock

NEWARK — Dave Brock came to the Delaware football program four years ago with a detailed plan for making the Blue Hens a contender again.

He knew it would take him a few recruiting classes to rebuild the roster.

By the fourth season, though, he figured Delaware would be ready to push for a spot in the NCAA Division I playoffs.

But with it becoming increasingly clear that the Hens weren’t heading anywhere near that goal this fall, athletic director Christine Rawak made the unprecedented move of firing Brock on Sunday.

Co-Defensive Coordinator Dennis Dottin-Carter will be the interim coach for the last five games of the season, beginning with Saturday’s home game against Stony Brook. Delaware is 0-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, 2-4 overall after losing its last four games.

Dennis Dottin-Carter

Dennis
Dottin-Carter

“After thorough consideration and assessment, we have made the decision to change leadership of our football program and I informed Dave this afternoon,” said Rawak. “As he has been throughout his time at UD, Dave was a true professional.

“We want to thank him for his four years of service to the University of Delaware. Ultimately, the hard work and effort off the field did not result in the success that we expect on the field. We wish Dave and his family the best.”

Brock may be the first Delaware football coach to be fired in the middle of a season. The Hens have had only five head coaches since 1940.

Brock’s predecessor, K.C. Keeler, was also fired, but that was well after the season in January, 2013.

Rawak, who has only been the university’s AD since May, also announced on Sunday that veteran volleyball coach Bonnie Kenny and associate head coach Cindy Gregory have been relieved of their duties. The two volleyball coaches had been suspended from their coaching roles a week ago.

Brock’s firing came less than 24 hours after the Hens’ disappointing 24-17 loss at William & Mary on Saturday. Delaware led 14-3 in that contest before allowing 21 fourth-quarter points.

Brock was 19-22 in his three and a half seasons with the Hens. Delaware has won just six of its last 19 games since the end of the 2014 campaign.

The Hens held a normal Sunday-morning practice before Brock was informed of the school’s decision.

“It kills me for these kids,” Brock said after Saturday’s loss. “We have to find a way. There is no other way to look at it. There is no other way to explain it. We have to find a way to win these games and make one or two more plays.

“We haven’t done it two weeks in a row. We made a lot of plays today but we didn’t make enough. We made some critical errors at critical times.”

Including Keeler’s last two seasons, the Hens haven’t made the FCS playoffs since reaching the national championship game in 2010.

Eric Ziady, who had only been Delaware’s AD for a couple months at the time, fired Keeler, who took the Hens to three national title games in an up-and-down 11-season tenure.

Ziady them hired Brock, a well-traveled college assistant coach. The two men knew each other when they both worked at Boston College.

But Ziady stepped down as UD’s athletic director last December.

Brock touted this year’s squad as a playoff-caliber team. The program’s slogan for this season is ‘The Future is Now.’”

“I look at it as we should be a playoff team,” he said in August. “You set goals that are realistic. I’m really excited about the team, I’m really excited about the players, the people that we have, and I’m excited about the opportunities.

“I think when you stand up in front of 95 guys and you look them in the eye every day, you’ve got to tell them the truth. Kids know. I want them to understand exactly what the belief system is of the coach. I told them, ‘If you believe it, don’t shy away from it.’

“We’re not making a prediction,” he added. “I’m telling you how I feel. We’ve got to go out, play 11 games and make it so.”

Rawak and Dottin-Carter are slated to meet with reporters on Monday afternoon.

Dottin-Carter has been on Brock’s coaching staff since he came to Delaware. A former player and assistant coach at Maine, he was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in March, 2014.

“We are excited to add Dennis to our staff,” Brock said when he hired Dottin-Carter. “Dennis is exactly what we are looking for in a defensive line coach. He brings energy and enthusiasm along with great experience in this league as both a coach and player.”

“The University of Delaware has great football tradition,” Dottin-Carter said at the time. “I was able to see that first hand as a player and later as an assistant coach at Maine. It is an honor to be able to work on this staff and to work with Coach Brock.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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