Mississippi State’s Bellard Fired as Coach, Forecaster

From Times Wire Services

Mississippi State’s Emory Bellard, who boldly forecast that his team would win the Southeastern Conference championship this season, then saw it fail to win a conference game, was one of three football coaches fired Wednesday. The other two were Ray Dempsey of Memphis State and Rudy Hubbard of Florida A&M.;

In other college football developments, it was announced that Earle Bruce, the Ohio State coach, will get his eighth one-year extension and that Galen Hall, University of Florida coach, will get a two-year extension.

Charley Scott, Mississippi State athletic director, made the announcement of Bellard’s firing at a news conference. Scott said that Bellard’s contract was being terminated as of Jan. 15, 1986, but that the coach was “immediately relieved of all duties.”

The final year of Bellard’s contract was bought out at a cost of $125,000 following face-to-face discussions with the school’s president.


Mississippi State finished 5-6 overall and 0-6 in the SEC this season. The Bulldogs closed their season last Saturday with a 45-27 loss to archrival Mississippi--their third straight loss in the intrastate battle.

Dempsey, 49, had a 7-12-3 record in two seasons at Memphis State. The Tigers were 2-7-2 this season.

Dempsey came to Memphis to replace Rex Dockery, who was killed in a plane crash while on a recruiting trip before the 1984 season. Before joining Memphis State, Dempsey spent eight years at Southern Illinois, where in his final season the team won the NCAA Division 1-AA national championship.

Hubbard was at Florida A&M; for 12 seasons, compiling an 83-48-3 record. The Rattlers were 4-7 this season.