Memphis head coach Justin Fuente looks on before an NCAA college football game against SMU at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. Memphis won 63-0. (Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
AP Photo
November 29, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Memphis has named offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey interim head coach while it begins seeking a permanent replacement for Justin Fuente, who left Sunday to take over Virginia Tech's program.

Fuente was officially named Virginia Tech's coach Sunday after going 26-23 in four seasons at Memphis, including a 19-6 mark the last two years. Memphis is 9-3 this year and is bowl eligible for a second straight season.

Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said Sunday that ''we are in the process of putting together a list of candidates with our leadership and will begin moving forward in the search for our next head coach.''

''I am confident we'll be able to build this football program to extraordinary levels of competitive excellence,'' Bowen said. ''I give you my word on that.''

Bowen also said he had ''tremendous gratitude'' for the job Fuente had done at Memphis.

''I enjoyed working with n him every single day to build Memphis football,'' Bowen said. ''And I can tell you that this is not a setback. This is an opportunity - a great opportunity for Coach Fuente and his family, and a great opportunity for Memphis football, our student-athletes and the future of our program.''

Dickey was 42-64 as North Texas' head coach from 1998-2006.

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AP college website: collegefootball.ap.org

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