Massachusetts parts ways with coach Mark Whipple

Massachusetts has parted ways with coach Mark Whipple, who has led the Minutemen to just 16 victories in six seasons during his second stint at the school.

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford announced in a news release Wednesday that the school and the 61-year-old Whipple had worked out a mutually agreed upon separation.

Whipple had two years remaining on a contract that pays $500,000 annually in base salary.

UMass finished this season 4-8, the same mark as last year. There was optimism the struggling independent program could take a modest step forward.

Whipple coached UMass from 1998 to 2003 when it was competing at the FCS level. He went 49-26 during that stint, with a national title in 1998.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.