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                       === UMass brings back Whipple ===
 Amherst,  MA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The University of Massachusetts announced
 the re-hiring of Mark Whipple as head football coach on Tuesday.
 Whipple takes over for Charley Molnar, who was dismissed from the post on Dec.
 26.  Molnar  was  hired  as  head  coach prior  to  the  2012  campaign,  when
 Massachusetts  played  its first season as  an FBS program in the Mid-American
 Conference.  The Minutemen  went 2-22  in two  years under  Molnar's guidance,
 including a 2-14 mark in MAC play.
 "We  are thrilled to  welcome back one of the greatest coaches in the 135-year
 history   of  UMass   football,"  said  UMass  Amherst  chancellor  Kumble  R.
 Subbaswamy. "Coach Whipple is committed to fostering a positive environment in
 which our student-athletes will thrive both athletically and academically. His
 passion  for  the flagship  campus and  his drive  for excellence have already
 earned the support of alumni, faculty, students and fans. I am confidant that,
 under  coach Whipple's leadership, Minuteman football will continue to improve
 and will excel at the FBS level."
 The  56-year-old's first stint with UMass occurred between 1998-2003, where he
 led  the  program to three postseason  berths, a Division I-AA championship in
 his  first year  at the  helm and  a 49-26  overall record.  Since that  time,
 Whipple served as a coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2004-06), Philadelphia
 Eagles (2007-08), Miami-Florida (2009-10) and Cleveland Browns (2011-12).
 "I  have a lot to give," said Whipple. "I can make a bigger impact than I have
 ever  made in my  life with people young, old and in between at the University
 of  Massachusetts and that's what I am really excited about. I believe in this
 place  and it  hit me after the  interview when I drove around campus and then
 got  out and  walked.  This is  a  special  place and  I  will represent  this
 University better than I ever have."
 UMass kicks off its 2014 campaign at Wisconsin on Aug. 31.
 01/14 17:02:08 ET

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