Western Illinois football interviewing Fisher, Ash

(STATS) - Western Illinois University has narrowed its search for a new football coach to Richmond offensive coordinator Charlie Fisher and former Drake and Montana State head coach Rob Ash.

Both candidates will interview on campus and participate in an open forum, Fisher on Wednesday and Ash on Thursday, WIU interim director of athletics and search committee chair Matt Tanney said Tuesday.

The Leathernecks' position opened earlier this month after Bob Nielson resigned following three seasons to move across the Missouri Valley Football Conference and become South Dakota's head coach.

Fisher has spent the last two seasons at Richmond, also with the titles of associate head coach and quarterbacks coach. The Spiders won a share of the CAA Football title and advanced to the FCS playoff semifinals this year.

He has more than 30 years of college coaching experience, including at Penn State, Miami (Ohio), Vanderbilt, Temple, North Carolina State, West Georgia, Lenoir-Rhyne, Ole Miss and Eastern Kentucky. He was West Georgia's head coach from 1993-97, posting a 36-17 record and earning a share of the 1997 Gulf South Conference title with two postseason appearances.

Ash spent the last nine seasons at Montana State before being fired last month. He compiled a 70-38 record with three Big Sky Conference titles and four postseason appearances.

He previously coached Drake for 18 seasons and Juniata for nine years, and owns a 246-137-5 career record. He is the all-time winningest coach at all three schools.

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