TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - With coach Mike Shula ousted after a 6-6 season, Alabama turned today to a nationwide coaching search that Athletic Director Mal Moore said had the goal of hiring a quote "proven winner" to lead the Crimson Tide back to prominence.
Moore praised Shula for showing "impeccable character" but said Alabama had lost momentum this year, which followed a 10-win season. He didn't name any potential candidates but said he was beginning a national search for what he called a "proven winner."
Defensive coordinator Joe Kines will serve as interim head coach of the bowl-eligible Tide.
Shula a former Alabama quarterback had no head coaching experience when he was hired in 2003.
Moore said he and Shula discussed the status of the program during the season, but the coach's fate wasn't decided until a meeting with University President Robert Witt and trustees late Sunday afternoon. He said he didn't inform Shula of the decision until after the coach had already spoken to his players that evening.
Moore met with Alabama players at noon and players had no comment on Shula's firing.
The firing of Shula means Alabama is looking for a head coach for the fourth time since 2000.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)