Bowie State coach not returning next season

The Baltimore Sun

Mike Lynn, Bowie State's football coach for five years, will not return next season. Lynn and Bowie athletic director Derek Carter reached "a mutual agreement" to part, school officials said in a statement yesterday.

"We're thankful for the contributions Coach Lynn made to the program," Carter said. "He's leaving [it] in good shape."

There was no word on a successor for Lynn, the state's second college coach to depart this week. On Tuesday, Gordy Combs was fired by Towson University.

On Lynn's watch, Bowie went 26-25, including an 8-4 finish in 2005 when the Bulldogs came within a whisker of winning the Pioneer Bowl. Making its first bowl appearance in 36 years, Bowie lost, 28-26, to Tuskegee.

The Bulldogs went 5-4 this year, winning their final three games after playing the first five on the road.

His leaving is amicable, said Lynn, who agreed to go last week during meetings with Carter. The two men differed on the direction the Division II program should take, the coach said. Bowie has 16 football scholarships and three full-time coaches - both numbers that Lynn had fought to increase.

"I wanted the program to grow financially and Mr. Carter wanted us to be more productive with the resources that we have," Lynn said. "It's time for someone with different ideas to take what's available and be successful."

Bowie was the first head coaching job for Lynn, 40, a 1990 graduate of Morgan State. There, he played offensive line for the Bears and then served as an assistant coach for five years.

His contract at Bowie is up in June.

"I got the opportunity of a lifetime here," said Lynn, whose 26 victories tied him with his predecessor, Henry Frazier, for the most wins by a Bowie coach. "I'll always appreciate that."

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