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Cincinnati football coach Tommy Tuberville quits after 4-8 season

Tommy Tuberville works the sidelines in a Nov. 18 game against Memphis. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Tommy Tuberville resigned as the Cincinnati Bearcats coach after a 4-8 season that led to speculation that he would be fired this week.

Tuberville’s buyout with the school decreases from $2.4 million to $1.5 million on Wednesday, according to ESPN, further fueling speculation that a firing could be imminent. first reported the Tuberville news.

“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 released by the school. “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!”

Tuberville, 62, had been given a two-year extension that would have kept him at the school through 2019. The Bearcats were 29-22 in four seasons and his record over 21 seasons as a head coach at Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech and Cincinnati is 159-99. The Bearcats were 1-7 in the American Athletic Conference this season and lost their final five games, missing a bowl game for the first time since 2010.

Names being mentioned as possible replacements could include Western Kentucky Coach Jeff Brohm, Western Michigan Coach P.J. Fleck, Troy Coach Neal Brown, Appalachian State Coach Scott Satterfield and Ohio State cornerbacks/special teams coach Kerry Coombs (a former Cincinnati assistant).