Embree went just 4-21 in his two seasons and just 1-11 this year. Colorado was unable to win a home game this year for the first time in the program’s history, and most of their losses were blowouts.
Here’s the official statement from Bohn, Colorado President Bruce Benson and Chancellor Phil DiStefano:
On Sunday night, we announced the departure of Coach Jon Embree. We firmly believe a change in the leadership in our football program is in the best interests of the University of Colorado, particularly given our goal to compete at the highest levels of the Pac-12 Conference. It was a difficult decision, given Jon Embree’s history with CU, and one we arrived at after considerable deliberation. We appreciate his passion and dedication and wish him the best.
Embree and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy both have three years remaining on five-year contracts. Colorado will owe Embree a $1.5 million buyout. It will owe Bieniemy a $750,000 buyout if he is also fired. All signs point to Bieniemy being let go as well as the majority of the other coaches.
It’s a surprising move even despite the struggles. Embree inherited a very tough situation after previous head coach Dan Hawkins left the program in shambles. Trying to turn around a program in just two seasons is practically impossible and Embree did his best, but it just did not show on the field.
Colorado was one of the youngest teams in the country this year with only eight seniors on a underclassmen heavy roster. It did seem that all of the players continued to back Embree even through all of their struggles this year and it never looked like they gave up on him. The reaction from the players on Twitter would suggest that they were surprised and angry at the decision.
For the second time in three years Colorado will once again be searching for a new coach. Early speculation suggests that Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is their top target. Calhoun was in the running in 2009 when Hawkins’ job was in question and was again interviewed after he was fired in 2010 but Bohn ultimately decided to go with Embree.