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Ohio's Frank Solich, 76, retires after 16 seasons as head coach

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Ohio coach Frank Solich is retiring, ending one of the longest tenures in college football. 

Solich coached 16 seasons at Ohio, compiling a record of 115-82, becoming the winningest coach in MAC history and leading Ohio to 11 bowl games.

Solich, 76, leaves the sport as the fourth-longest tenured coach at a single school, tying Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy. Solich was the oldest head coach in the sport.

In a release, Solich said health reasons came into play as he wanted to "focus on a cardiovascular health issue."

Solich will be replaced by associate head coach Tim Albin, who signed a four-year contract to take over. Albin has been the offensive coordinator for Solich’s entire tenure in Athens. He brings head coaching experience from his time at Northwestern Oklahoma State, which included an NAIA championship in 1999.

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2016, file photo, Ohio head coach Frank Solich runs out onto the field with his team before the Mid-American Conference championship NCAA college football game against Western Michigan, in Detroit. Solich is expected to become the Mid-American Conference’s all-time winning coach this season. The former Nebraska coach has won 106 games with the Bobcats over 15 years since Nebraska fired him following a nine-win season. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Frank Solich owns a career coaching record of 173-101 between his stops at Nebraska and Ohio. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Solich may still be best remembered for his time as the head coach at Nebraska, as he replaced Tom Osborne in 1998. Solich got fired after the 2003 season despite compiling a 58-19 record. None of the coaches who’ve succeeded him have matched the 75.3% winning percentage he registered there. Few have come close.

After Nebraska, Solich carved out a career that matched his straight-forward personality — solid and consistent with teams that always played hard. Solich opened his career at Ohio in 2005 by delivering an upset of Pittsburgh, a sign of what was to come at a program that had just two winning seasons in the prior 22 years.

In the season opener of 2012, Ohio delivered the signature victory of Solich’s Ohio University career. The Bobcats won at Penn State, 24-14, in the first game of Bill O’Brien’s tenure there.

In total, Solich led Ohio to 11 of its 13 bowl games in school history.

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