Fresno State fired coach Tim DeRuyter on Sunday after the Bulldogs dropped to 1-7 in his fifth season.
After winning the Mountain West title in each of his first two seasons at Fresno State, DeRuyter's teams struggled once star quarterback Derek Carr left for the NFL.
"Tim DeRuyter is a man of high character — a class individual who is a leader of young men," athletic director Jim Bartko said. "Over the time I've been here, the football program has shown it has the ability to be a product the Red Wave can be excited about, but the results have not been to the standard we anticipated and expect."
Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau has been named the interim head coach. The Bulldogs host Air Force on Friday night.
DeRuyter is 30-30 at Fresno State, but he went 20-6 his first two seasons. The Bulldogs won a total of nine games the next two seasons and lost Saturday 38-20 at Utah State.
"The path to greater heights of success in athletics — and in life — is neither smooth nor straight," school President Joseph Castro said. "Our commitment to academics and athletics boldly rising together is unwavering. Student success, inside and outside of the classroom, remains the highest priority for our university."
DeRuyter has two years left on a five-year contract that was worth $7.5 million.
12:30 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from the athletic director.