Montana State University has announced the firing of head football coach Rob Ash after spending nine seasons as the team's mentor.

The Bobcats fell to the University of Montana Grizzlies 54-35 on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium, leaving Ash with a record of just 2-7 against the cross-state rival Grizzlies.

Widely respected football blogger Brint Wahlberg told KGVO the news was not unexpected.

"You look at Rob Ash's teams in the past few years, especially since 2011, the last four years for sure, they had rosters that were picked either first or second in the Big Sky and expected to make deep runs in the playoffs, and only once in that four years span did they beat the Griz," Wahlberg said. "Obviously, they expect better, and I think the trouncing in Bozeman this past weekend and a losing season at 5-6, when you were picked to finish second in the conference, was finally the straw that broke the camel's back."

Voice of the Griz Mick Holien said he's gotten to know coach  Ash and his staff at various fundraising events over the years.

"Ash does it the right way, and his players adore him," Holien said. "I'm sure it's a reaction to not being able to defeat the Grizzlies. It's a brutal business to be in, and I feel terribly bad for him."

MSU Athletic Director Peter Fields made the announcement at a noon press conference in Bozeman. Fields had not returned a call to KGVO News at the time this story was published.