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Texas A&M fires defensive coordinator

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on Friday announced the firing of defensive coordinator Mark Snyder. The unsurprising news comes a day after the Aggies ended their regular season with a 23-17 loss to LSU in which A&M allowed almost 500 yards rushing. Linebackers coach Mark Hagen will serve as interim defensive coordinator in the upcoming to-be-determined bowl.

As A&M continued to rank at or near the bottom of the SEC in all major defensive statistics for a second season, it became clear a change could be imminent.

Snyder, a former head coach at Marshall, met with the media in advance of the LSU game and readily acknowledged coaching as a constant hot-seat, results-based business. Snyder is due to receive his $700,000 salary through March 31, 2016, though that could be off-set if he finds new employment.

A&M fans will certainly eye fired Florida coach Will Muschamp as a big-name, likely expensive target as a possibility to replace Snyder, though Muschamp infamously put down College Station in remarks to fans after A&M joined the SEC in 2012. Muschamp was the Texas defensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting behind Mack Brown before he became head coach at Florida.

“Mark is an outstanding coach and an even better person, but he understands the production needed to be better on the defensive side of the football,” Sumlin said in a statement. “We wish he and his family all of the best moving forward.”

“I appreciate the opportunity Kevin Sumlin gave me to come to Texas A&M and to work on his staff,” Snyder said. “I have been in the business a while now and understand it is a production-based business.”

“With that being said, I have no doubt Coach Sumlin and the coaches and players will get the job done here,” Snyder added. “There is a great commitment to success in Aggieland and this community has been great to me and my family. I am proud one of my daughters has an Aggie Ring and will graduate from this outstanding school.

“I look forward to the next opportunity to coach and wish Coach Sumlin and the Aggies all of the best moving forward.”