Merritt fired as Davidson coach

Davidson University fired eighth-year football coach Tripp Merritt on Monday with two games remaining in a 1-8 season.

Athletic director Jim Murphy said Merritt will be released from his contract at the end of the season. Merritt had a 31-51 record at Davidson, including 22-32 in Pioneer Football League games.

Brett Hayford, a 1993 Davidson graduate who has been the associate head coach for the past eight years, will serve as the Wildcats' interim head coach until further notice.

"We very much appreciate Tripp's dedication and commitment to our student- athletes and to Davidson College throughout his seven years as an assistant and eight years as head coach," Murphy said.

Merritt was named the 2006 PFL's co-coach of the year when Davidson finished with 6-4 overall and 5-2 PFL records.

Davidson will visit Valparaiso on Saturday and conclude its season on Nov. 17 at home against San Diego.