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UMass hires former Florida State OC Walt Bell as next football head coach

Kyle DaLuz
December 03, 2018 - 6:15 pm

The University of Massachusetts has hired Florida State offensive coordinator Walt Bell as its next head coach.

Bell, 34, will have a five-year contract worth $625,000 per season with the Minutemen, along with an increased assistant salary pool, according the The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach.

Bell spent just one season with the Seminoles, while previously serving as the offensive coordinator at Maryland. Florida State finished 5-7 this season, missing a bowl game, while averaging 21.9 points per game.

"I am immensely excited for the opportunity to serve as the University of Massachusetts football head coach, and for my wife, Maria, and I to join the UMass family," Bell said in the UMass press release. "I cannot thank Ryan Bamford, Chancellor Subbaswamy and the entire university administration enough for the opportunity to guide this program. I look forward to getting right to work with the young men on our team."

Bell has updated his Twitter account to include “Head Football Coach @ UMass” in his bio. The story was first reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel.

"We are excited to welcome Walt Bell and his wife Maria to the UMass family," UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said in the release. "Walt is a fantastic coach who has tremendous credentials as an offensive coordinator, recruiter and developer of talent. It is Walt's genuine interest in supporting the personal growth of his student-athletes, evidenced by his lasting relationships as a mentor and leader the last 10 years – that really resonated with us. He is a teacher, a motivator and an ambassador and we are fortunate to have him lead our Minutemen in to the future."

UMass parted ways with coach Mark Whipple, who stepped down as football coach on Nov. 21. The 61-year-old finished with a 16-44 record in his second stint with the team, the first being as a Division 1-AA team which included a 1998 national championship.