Football: FAU fires head coach Charlie Partridge

Partridge ends tenure with second most wins in program history behind Howard Schnellenberger.

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Max Jackson

Head football coach Charlie Partridge looks at the scoreboard before his team's 27-26 loss to Rice on Oct. 10, 2015. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Contributing Writer

 

Florida Atlantic football is now in the hunt for a new head coach after Charlie Partridge was fired on Sunday, according to a media release sent from FAU Athletics.

The announcement came one day after FAU gave up 757 yards of offense to Middle Tennessee, ending in a 77-56 loss.

The Blue Raiders handed the Owls their seventh losing season in the last eight years and their third straight 3-9 season under Partridge.

“I want to thank Charlie Partridge for putting his heart and soul into Florida Atlantic University for the past three years,” FAU athletic director Pat Chun said in an email. “He led our program with integrity and character. Most importantly, he impacted the lives of our student-athletes and that will have a lasting effect.”

Partridge, who was hired in December 2013, was tasked with continuing to build on a program that finished 6-6 prior to his arrival. However, Partridge never won more than three games in a row during his tenure.

Having two years remaining on the original contract he signed when he took the helm, Partridge is still owed a little over $1 million, but that amount will drop to $200,000 should he find another job.

Partridge’s tenure will be more remembered for what he did off the field rather than on it. The Owls made major advancements in recruiting and FAU players were doing better in the classroom than they did prior to his arrival.

The program had 48 players post a 3.0 GPA or higher at the end of the the 2016 spring semester, and the Owls had the second highest ranked recruiting class in Conference USA in 2015, according to 247sports.

On the field however, FAU was one of the worst defensive teams in the country, finishing at the bottom of Conference USA in scoring defense and rushing defense.

This season saw the Owls on the wrong side of several broken records. Western Kentucky handed FAU its worst home loss in program history, a 52-3 defeat, it suffered its worst loss in program history with a 63-7 defeat at Kansas State and it had one of the worst defensive games by a program in Saturday’s loss at Middle Tennessee.

Even in close games, FAU was unable to take a step forward, losing four games this season by six points or less.

The highest point during Partridge’s tenure was a 20-14 overtime loss to then eighth-ranked University of Florida team in 2015.

Partridge came to FAU following a year stint as a defensive lineman’s coach at Arkansas and spent five years as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. FAU was his first head coaching job.

Hans Belot Jr. is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.