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N.C. State Coach Mike O’Cain Fired

November 24, 1999

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ North Carolina State fired football coach Mike O’Cain on Wednesday after seven seasons.

``When you get swimming upstream and that pressure gets stronger and stronger, you’re getting skinned,″ athletics director Les Robinson said.

Robinson and chancellor Marye Anne Fox made the decision Tuesday night. Fox, who did not attend the news conference, went to O’Cain’s home Wednesday morning to tell him he was fired.

``We now wish to build on the strengths we have in football and move this university to a stage where it can assume a leadership role in athletics,″ Fox said in a statement.

Robinson said a committee will search for a successor and offer twice the $250,000 package O’Cain received.

O’Cain, 41-40 at North Carolina State, hugged reporters and supporters who showed up at his office after they learned of his firing.

``This game has become a bottom-line win business,″ O’Cain said. ``You can pay lip service to all the other things, but when it comes down to winning and losing, all those other things don’t mean anything if you haven’t won enough. I don’t have ill feelings at all _ I am frustrated.″

The Wolfpack began the season with a surprising win over then-No. 5 Texas, but stumbled to a 6-6 record.

O’Cain led his first two N.C. State teams to bowl games, including a 1994 Peach Bowl victory and a 9-3 record that year, tying the school record.

Since then, O’Cain’s teams have appeared in just one bowl game, the Micron PC Bowl in 1998.

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