Tommy Tuberville steps down at Cincinnati after 4-8 season

Tommy Tuberville has decided to step down as Cincinnati's coach, two sources at the school tell CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. Cincinnati later made the announcement official.

"After much thought and reflection, I have decided to step down and resign from my position here at the University of Cincinnati," Tuberville said in a statement. "I want to thank the board of trustees, the administration, the fans and the University for these last four years. I also want to thank our coaches, staff and anyone associated within our athletic department. Most of all, I will miss these players but know these young men will turn out to be outstanding leaders in the world and for me that is what it's all about. I am not done coaching and I look forward to my next challenge. Go Bearcats!"

The Bearcats went 4-8 in 2016 and won just one conference game in the American Athletic Conference.

Tuberville left Texas Tech after three seasons to take the job in Cincinnati. Tuberville led the team to back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2013 and 2014 but never matched that success in either of the last two years.

"He is a hall of fame coach," AD Mike Bohn said. "We thank him and his staff for their hard work and dedication to Cincinnati. Change is never an easy thing on our student-athletes, but their success and well-being is our primary focus. We will move onward and search for a head coach who can continue the growth of the football program in line with our goals of being class of the league."

Tuberville had his greatest success at Auburn from 1999-2008, where he led the Tigers to an 85-40 record (52-30 SEC) and a win in the 2005 Sugar Bowl after going 13-0 during the 2004 season and being left out of the BCS championship.

Football Scoop has named Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck and Troy's Neal Brown as possible candidates for the Cincinnati job. Per CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, Western Kentucky's Jeff Brohm and former Texas coach Charlie Strong are also in the mix.

This coaching search will be the first time the Bearcats have had to replace a coach who wasn't hired away by another school since they were in Conference USA. Mark Dantonio, Brian Kelly and Butch Jones had Cincinnati rolling in the Big East but conference realignment left Tuberville with a tougher task to bring the Bearcats into the national conversation.

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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