WMU dismisses Lester after six seasons on job
After his first losing season in six years on the job, Western Michigan fired head coach Tim Lester on Monday.
Lester is the former Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback, who played in college at WMU and spent two more years at the school as its QB coach from 2005-06.
"First, I am disappointed I won't get to lead the Western Michigan football program and these players in the future," Lester wrote in a statement released. "It has been an honor for me and my family to represent Western Michigan University and be a member of the Kalamazoo area community."
Lester went 37-32 during his six seasons on the job, including 5-7 this fall. The Broncos ended their season by beating rival Central Michigan 12-10 in the snow, then knocked off MAC West champ Toledo 20-14 on Friday. Lester brought in former North Central College coach Jeff Thorne to serve as offensive coordinator before the season.
Western Michigan athletic director Dan Bartholomae set the bar high in a statement announcing the coaching change.
"The upcoming college football playoff expansion and the incredible foundation for success we have within our football program provides an exciting national opportunity for Bronco Football," the statement read. "It is imperative that we seize this opportunity by pursuing a new direction within our football program. Western Michigan University can set the standard for football in the MAC."
In other Mid-American Conference news, Northern Illinois released a statement over the weekend saying it was disappointed in this season's results, but it also appeared to indicate there would be no change at head coach.
After winning the MAC in 2021, the Huskies slumped to a 3-9 record this fall in coach Thomas Hammock's fourth season. NIU dropped five games by a touchdown or less and lost veteran QB Rocky Lombardi to injury midway through the campaign.