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USATSI

After amassing a 4-12 record in just two seasons, Steve Addazio is out as the coach at Colorado State, the school announced Thursday. Addazio, 62, arrived after a seven-year run at Boston College that included six bowl appearances. But the Rams never got it going under his direction, losing six straight games to close the 2021 season.

Last week's 52-10 home loss to Nevada was particularly frustrating for Addazio, who became just the second FBS coach to be ejected for receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game since 2016. Addazio's buyout dropped from $5 million to $3 million on Thursday, according to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel.

"The decision we have made today is not one we take lightly," said athletic director Joe Parker. "I am grateful to Steve Addazio and his coaching staff for their steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, both athletically and academically, to developing men of high character, and reinvigorating our locker room with a culture of toughness and accountability. However, after a thorough review of where our program stands today and our outlook for the future, looking at the totality of factors, I felt this was a necessary step."

Addazio's tenure at Colorado State got off to a rocky start amid the COVID-19 pandemic last season. CSU players and staff claimed there was a COVID-19 testing cover-up issue within the program. The program also dealt with allegations of racism and verbal abuse under Addazio's direction. 

But an independent investigation provided "positive and reassuring" results, CSU president Joyce McConnell said last year. Addazio kept his job and went 1-3 in his first season. The Rams started the 2021 season 3-3 and gave Iowa a scare before unraveling in the season's second half. Addazio took over for Mike Bobo following the 2019 season after Bobo went 28-35 in five seasons.

"Our expectation is to compete for conference championships and reach bowl eligibility each season," Parker said. "Our student-athletes deserve that, our fans deserve that, our community deserves that, and our University deserves that. We live in one of America's best cities, serve a world-class university, and I am confident we will find a stalwart leader who can meet those expectations head on."

The Rams join Fresno State among the Mountain West programs in search of a new coach as Bulldogs coach Kalen DeBoer accepted the Washington job this week.