(STATS) - Northern Arizona and Jerome Souers, the winningest football coach in Big Sky history, will part ways at the end of the season, athletic director Dr. Lisa Campos said in a surprising announcement Monday evening.
The 59-year-old Souers, in his 20th season, holds Big Sky records for overall wins (112), conference wins (76) and number of years as head coach. The Lumberjacks are off to an 0-2 start this season.
"Rather than wait until the end of the season, we want to celebrate Jerome's 20 years of service with NAU," Campos said. "We want our university, Flagstaff and Big Sky communities to have the opportunity to thank him, and wish him the best in the next chapter of his life. I want to thank Jerome for his service to NAU and the football program."
Souers, the seventh-longest tenured coach in the FCS, signed a four-year extension in 2014, and it's set to expire in January.
Northern Arizona's coach since 1998, Souers has a 112-105 record. His 2003 squad won the Big Sky title and is one of three teams he'd led to the FCS playoffs. The others were in 2001 and 2013.
"I am blessed with so many fond memories of achievement on and off the field with the young men I've been honored to work with," Souers said. "With nine games remaining on our schedule, our goals remain the same.
"Everything we've worked so hard to achieve is still in front of us. I can assure you that our coaching staff and all the members of this special team will continue to persevere and to compete for the Big Sky Conference championship."