Tomorrow's season-finale vs. Ohio won't be Charley Molnar's last game as the Minutemen's head football coach. UMass' athletic director John McCutcheon made it clear Thursday that the second-year head coach will be back for a third.
In an article by the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour, McCutcheon threw his support behind the embattled coach saying "Charley is our coach," and that he feels the team is showing signs of success behind Molnar, even if it doesn't show up in the win-loss column.
"The transition is a very challenging thing," McCutcheon added. "How that translates to wins and losses is difficult to perceive from the outside. I think Charley is doing a good job."
Molnar was hired in December 2011 to lead the Minutemen through their transition from the FCS to the FBS after two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. In his two seasons at the helm of UMass' football program the team has went 2-21, with a win in each season. In 2012 the Minutemen beat Akron, which failed to beat a FBS-level school in that season. This year the Minutemen's only win came against Miami, which is in the midst of a 15-game losing streak.
"All of us have things we could do better than we’ve done," McCutcheon said. "There are things he’s done very well. Charley is our coach and we’re moving forward. I’m looking forward to the future."
One of the challenges Molnarhas faced in his time as the Minutemen's head coach involved a controversy with alumni and fans of the program. Earlier this season video leaked of some questionable conditioning techniques Molnar and his staff had been using in the offseason. Alumni and fans started a petition to have the coach stop his "improper treatment" of student athletes. The petition drew a response from the University's Chancellor, but nothing serious has come from the event. It closed with 159 signatures.
Molnar, well aware of the heat under his seat, spoke on the status of the program to Vautour after UMass' Tuesday practice, admitting the current status of the program isn't an optimistic one from an outsiders' perspective.
"We’re not ready to win yet. We don’t have enough pieces to win yet," Molnar said. "We’ll have more pieces next year. From the very first day of summer camp next year we’ll have more pieces than we have this year. That’s the reality of the transition and the reality of our sport."
With the guarantee that he'll get another year with the program, Molnar will have an opportunity to back up his words. Over 74 percent of the team's current roster has at least two years of eligibility remaining, including a pair of experienced quarterbacks in Mike Wegzyn and A.J. Doyle and standout wide receiver Tajae Sharpe. The 2014 recruiting class that Molnar and his staff have been putting together currently ranks seventh in the MAC according to 247Sports.com, and contains four 3-star recruits.
But, if the Minutemen can't put together a competitive season in 2014 it'll be hard for anyone to throw much support behind Molnar for another season.
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