Three years after he guided Army to a school-record 10 wins and was touted for national coach of the year, Bob Sutton was fired today, two days after a 19-9 loss to Navy. The loss was only Sutton's third in nine years to the Midshipmen, but it left the Cadets at 3-8 this season.

Athletic Director Rick Greenspan said the decision to fire Sutton was made hours later, and the coach was informed Sunday.

"He's been a class act and has had tremendous compassion for the goals of the academy," Greenspan said. "But the last three years have obviously been difficult because of our [10-23] won-lost record."

Greenspan said the academy will buy out the final year of Sutton's contract, and terms were not disclosed. The athletic director said there was no timetable for hiring a new coach.

Sutton, who leaves with a 44-55-1 record, was told of the decision Sunday.

"I understand college football, I understand the coaching profession, I understand bottom-line philosophy," Sutton said. "I was only interested in having the opportunity to finish what I started and to finish what I was promised. I was probably too idealistic because I felt the academy would not compromise one of its principles and one of its real bedrock values."