Dunn fired as Memphis defensive coordinator

MEMPHIS, TENN. (AP) - Memphis coach Tommy West fired defensive

coordinator Joe Lee Dunn on Monday in what he called a business


Dunn had been defensive coordinator since spring 2003, but the

Tigers are 1-2 and blew a 13-point lead in losing 35-20 at East

Carolina last weekend. West said the decision was not based on the

East Carolina loss but on philosophies and the Tigers' recent play.

"I didn't feel that at this time we were moving forward on the

defensive side of the ball. When I feel that way and I can't be

positive about what we are doing, then I've got to make changes,"

West said at his weekly news conference.

"This decision was based on a confidence issue about our

system," he said.

Dunn had been defensive coordinator at Memphis between 1989 and

1991 under Chuck Stobart. He also has had that same job at

Mississippi, Arkansas and Mississippi State.

The Tigers currently rank 65th in total defense, giving up 333

yards per game. But they are 102nd in rushing defense and allowing

185 yards per game.

West said he will take over the defense now through the rest of

the season.

"Obviously this is not a good situation, but we do have two

weeks before we play our next game. That's not enough time to put

in a defensive system, but it is enough time to put in a defensive

plan for that game," he said.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)