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Legendary Head Coach Frank Beamer Retires, Effective At End Of Season

Missouri's Pinkel resigns due to health reasons; Iowa State and Syracuse fire coaches

CFP Staff
November 23, 2015

Other coaching maneuvers have occurred since November 1. Most recently, Paul Rhoads was fired from Iowa State, Louisiana-Monroe dismissed Todd Berry, Gary Pinkel resigned from Missouri for health reasons, and Tracy Claeys had the interim tag removed at Minnesota. But the announcement which came on November 1 outranks all the others.

Coaching Changes For 2015 Season
Team Out In
(i) - Interim head coach regular season
(b) - bowl game interim coach
Buffalo Jeff Quinn (3-4)
(i)-Alex Wood (2-2)
Lance Leipold
Central Michigan Dan Enos (7-6) John Bonamego
Colorado State Jim McElwain (10-2)
(b)-Dave Baldwin (0-1)
Mike Bobo
Florida Will Muschamp (6-5)
(b)-D.J. Durkin (1-0)
Jim McElwain
Houston Tony Levine (7-5)
(b)-David Gibbs (1-0)
Tom Herman
Kansas Charlie Weis (2-2)
(i)-Clint Bowen (1-7)
David Beaty
Michigan Brady Hoke (5-7) Jim Harbaugh
Nebraska Bo Pelini (9-3)
(b)-Barney Cotton (0-1)
Mike Riley
Oregon State Mike Riley (5-7) Gary Andersen
Pittsburgh Paul Chryst (6-6)
(b)-Joe Rudolph (0-1)
Pat Narduzzi
SMU June Jones (0-2)
(i)-Tom Mason (1-9)
Chad Morris
Troy Larry Blakeney (3-9) Neal Brown
Tulsa Bill Blankenship (2-10) Philip Montgomery
UNLV Bobby Hauck (2-11) Tony Sanchez
Wisconsin Gary Andersen (10-3)
(b)-Barry Alvarez (1-0)
Paul Chryst
The changes below were made on or after August 29.
(i) - Interim head coach regular season.
Note: Tracy Claeys was 0-2 as interim coach before signing deal as head coach.
# - Coaching changes occurred after 5 games of 2015 season.
Hawaii Norm Chow (2-7) (i) - Chris Naeole
Illinois Tim Beckman (6-7) (i) - Bill Cubit
Iowa State Paul Rhoads (3-8) effective end of season
Louisiana-Monroe Todd Berry (1-9) (i) - John Mumford
#-Maryland Randy Edsall (2-4) (i) - Mike Locksley
Miami (Fla.) Al Golden (4-3) (i) - Larry Scott
Minnesota Jerry Kill (4-3) (i)- Tracy Claeys (0-2)
Tracy Claeys
Missouri Gary Pinkel effective end of season
#-North Texas Dan McCarney (0-5) (i) - Mike Canales
South Carolina Steve Spurrier (2-4) (i) - Shawn Elliott
Syracuse Scott Shafer (3-8)) effective end of season
UCF George O'Leary (0-8) (i) - Danny Barrett
#-USC Steve Sarkisian (3-2) (i) - Clay Helton
Virginia Tech Frank Beamer effective end of season

That's the date on which Frank Beamer announced that his 29th season at Virginia Tech will be his last as a college football head coach. At the time, 3 games remained in a 4-5 season. The Hokies have since gone 1-1 and a 22-year bowl streak is on the line against Virginia on Saturday (November 28). His overall record of 278-144-4 (updated through November 21) leads all active FBS head coaches. His 236 victories at Virginia Tech have included wins over football powerhouses such as Alabama, LSU, Texas and Ohio State. Beamer said he is doing what he always said he would do, and has always done - respond in the best interest for Virginia Tech. In Blacksburg, he rose his Alma mater's football significance from nonexistent to major status. Before BeamerBall, the Hokies had made 6 bowl appearances and won only one. Before BeamerBall, Virginia Tech was a floundering independent playing in a largely empty small stadium. 29 years later, the school has enjoyed 22 straight bowl appearances, 10 bowl victories, a national championship game, and 7 conference championships, all while playing in a generally sold out and dramatically improved 66,000-seat stadium on a campus with some of the best and newest facilities across the whole spectrum of athletics. What will the post-BeamerBall era look like in Blacksburg? We'll have to stay tuned.

A 13-23 record in 3 years (6-17 in the ACC) gets you fired from just about anywhere, and that's what happened to Scott Shafer at Syracuse on Monday (November 23). Schafer was promoted from defensive coordinator when Doug Marrone left to become the head coach of the Buffalo Bills (NFL), a job which Marrone left after just 2 seasons (now assistant head coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars). Shafer will coach the final game of the season on Saturday vs. Boston College.

Iowa State's November 22nd firing of Paul Rhoads came a day after a 38-35 loss to Kansas State in which the Cyclones coughed up a 21-point halftime lead. Rhoads will coach his teams' last regular season game against at West Virginia. While his record is only 32-54, his five predecessors going back to 1979 also had losing tenures. Dan McCarney (1995-2006) had the most success since Earle Bruce in the 70's. McCarney's best year was 2000 when Iowa State went 9-3 and tied the school record for wins in a season for just the 2nd time in program history. But McCarney had 7 losing campaigns in a 12-year tenure, and even Earle Bruce began with three 4-win seasons before leaving after three 8-win campaigns.

Louisiana-Monroe fired Todd Berry on Saturday (November 14) following a 59-21 loss at home to Arkansas State that dropped the Warhawks' 2015 record to 1-9. He was 28-43 at UL-M in nearly 6 full seasons with a high water mark of 8-5 in 2012 which resulted in the program's first FBS bowl invitation (a 45-14 loss to Ohio in the Independence Bowl). However, that was his only winning season as Louisiana-Monroe was 6-6 in 2013 and 4-8 in 2014. Berry previously coached at Army (5-35) and Illinois State (24-24) for a career record of 57-102. Defensive line coach John Mumford assumed the role of interim head coach.

Gary Pinkel on Friday (November 13) announced his resignation, effective at the end of the season. The head coach of Missouri since 2001 was diagnosed with Lymphoma in May. The decision came at the end of a week in which Pinkel gave his support to members of the football team who were threatening to boycott, amid racial tensions, the upcoming game against BYU in Kansas City if the school didn't fire it's president. The president ultimately resigned. Pinkel, the winningest coach in school history, has a record of 117-71 as his 15th and final season comes to a close with a team that is just 4-5 after starting 3-0. Pinkel saw the transition from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2012 and won consecutive SEC East titles in 2013 and 2014.

Tracy Claeys on Wednesday (November 11) had the interim tag removed from his title and signed a 3-year contract as head coach for Minnesota. The longtime assistant to Jerry Kill was named interim head coach after Kill announced his immediate retirement on October 28 due to health reasons. Kill deals with epileptic seizures and had a previous bout with kidney cancer in 2005. Minnesota had a record of 29-29 during his tenure. However, Tracy Claeys was the acting or interim head coach for 7 of those games and was 4-3, leaving Kill's official record at 25-26. Claeys was 0-2 in the interim capacity with losses to Michigan and Ohio State.

On November 1, Hawaii fired Norm Chow. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 2-7 overall, 0-5 in the Mountain West, after a 58-7 loss at home to Air Force. Assistant coach Chris Naeole was handed the interim duties for the rest of the season. Chow, like Beamer, is 69 years old. Hawaii was his first and only had coaching gig after years as a well-respected offensive cooridnator for BYU, N.C. State, USC and others. Chow had very little to work with at Hawaii and compiled a 10-36 record (4-25, Mouintain West). At least his teams were predictable as the Congrove Computer Rankings were 42-4 in projecting the outcome of Hawaii games while Chow was in charge, including 9-0 this year.

58-0 was just too much to take. On October 25, the day after Miami fell to 4-3 with a humiliating 58-0 loss to home to Clemson, Al Golden was sent packing and tight ends coach/running game coordinator Larry Scott was tasked with trying to right the ship for the rest of the season. Golden was hired on December 12, 2010 to replace Randy Shannon who had gone 28-22 overall, 16-16 in the ACC. Golden was 32-27 overall, 17-18 in the ACC.

Also on October 25, the day after a 59-10 home loss to Houston dropped UCF to 0-8, head coach George O'Leary announced his immediate retirement and the school named quarterbacks coach Danny Barrett as his interim replacement. O'Leary took over the Knights' program in 2004 and went 0-11, but guided the team to an 8-4 mark the following season and the school's first-ever FBS bowl bid (Hawaii Bowl). He would go on to lead UCF to a total of 7 bowls and a 3-4 record in those games. The high water mark came in 2013 when the Knights went 12-1 and defeated Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Overall, he was 81-68 in Orlando and 133-101 in his career.

Steve Spurrier resigned as the head coach of South Carolina on October 13th, a few days after a 45-24 loss at LSU left the Gamecocks with a 2-4 record. His resignation took effect immediately, with co-offensive coordinator Shawn Elliott named interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Spurrier was 86-49 at South Carolina and his over-all collegiate coaching record of 228–89–2 includes an 11-10 record in bowl games and a 5-3 mark in SEC Championship games. The 'Ol Ball Coach began his collegiate head coaching career at Duke (1987-1989), going 20-13-1 and capturing an ACC co-championship in his final season before moving to Florida. With the Gators, Spurrier went 122-27-1 and a remarkable 87-12 in the SEC. His Florida teams lost 1 or fewer conference games in 9 of his 12 years with the school, claiming 6 conference titles and the 1996 national championship. He resigned from Florida after the 2001 season to coach the Washington Redskins in the NFL in 2002 and 2003, but left that job after achieving little success. He was hired at South Carolina in 2005 where he undeniably elevated the program's level of competitiveness, but was unable to deliver a conference title and won only 1 division title during his 10 full seasons in Columbia.

Sarkisian was forced to take a leave of absence to deal with personal problems after the 17-12 loss to Washington on Thursday, October 8. The following Monday (October 12), that leave became permanent with the announcement of his firing. It appears public ridicule of the university left the school with no other option. Sarkisian had offseason problems which were largely dismissed in early August. Based on internal comments, Sarkisian was alleged to have shown up intoxicated at team meetings and may have been under the influence during Thursday's game. Clay Helton takes over as interim coach, a position he held for the 2013 season Las Vegas Bowl win over Fresno State.

Sarkisian wasn't the only coaching performance casualty of the weekend.

North Texas fired Dan McCarney hours after a 66-7 home loss to FCS member Portland State on October 10. Interim head coaching duties will be handled by offensive coordinator Mike Canales.

Maryland gave Randy Edsall the boot on October 11, the day after a 49-28 loss to Ohio State. Rumors of his impending dismissal came to light in the days leading up to that game. Edsall was 22-34 in 4+ seasons at College Park. Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley was handed the duties of interim head coach. Locksley's prior head coaching stint at New Mexico was a certifiable disaster as he produced a 2-26 record.

A week before its opener at home against Kent State, Illinois fired head coach Tim Beckman (August 29) after an investigation into player mistreatment revealed he allegedly meddled in medical issues and inappropriately treated athletes who remained on scholarship after leaving the team. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, who was the head coach at Western Michigan from 2005-2012, was named interim head coach for the season.

A surprising move came on January 22 when Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos announced he was leaving his position with the Chippewas to take on the task of offensive coordinator under Bret Bielema at Arkansas. John Bonamego was announced on February 9 as CMU's new hire. Enos spent 5 seasons in Mount Pleasant where he compiled a 26-36 record with high water marks of 7-6 this season and in 2012. His teams were 20-18 over the last 3 campaigns with 2 bowl appearances and 1 bowl victory. The Chips never finished higher than 4th in the MAC West under his tutelage. Bonamego is a former Central Michigan University graduate who played wide receiver and quarterback for the school in the 80's. Bonamego has been employed in the NFL since 1999, most recently as special teams coordinator for the Detroit Lions.

Michigan announced on December 30 that Jim Harbaugh is the new head coach of Michigan. After four years with the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh returns to the college ranks where he last led Stanford to a 29-21 record over four seasons, including a conference mark of 21-15. He was just 9-15 in his first two years with the Cardinal, but quarterback Andrew Luck helped him turn the table in year three of his tenure as the team improved to 8-5 with a Sun Bowl loss to Oklahoma. In Harbaugh's final season as head coach, and Luck's junior year, Stanford was 12-1 with an Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech.

Michigan announced December 2 that Brady Hoke was fired as head coach after 4 seasons at the helm. The winningest team in college football history finished 5-7 this season and won't be going bowling for the first time since 2009. Hoke's initial season, 2011, was the only one in which his team had fewer than 5 losses. He was 31-20 overall, 18-14 in conference play, but the record dropped each year and the Wolverines won just 1 of 3 bowl games for which they qualified under Hoke. Coincidentally, the bowl win was a controversial one over Virginia Tech in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

At Wisconsin, it was a case of deja vu all over again when Oregon State tweeted on December 10 that it had whisked Gary Andersen away from Wisconsin to replace Mike Riley. Bret Bielema bolted the Badgers for Arkansas after the 2012 season, and former head coach Barry Alvarez stepped in to coach a loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. With Andersen off to Corvallis, Alvarez will reprise his role as interim head coach for the Badgers in this year's Outback Bowl meeting with Auburn.

Andersen had an overall record of 19-7 and a Big Ten conference mark of 13-3. But his teams fared poorly in the postseason with a loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl and an embarrassing 59-0 loss to Ohio State in this year's Big Ten championship game.

Riley first became the head coach at Oregon State in 1997, but left after two seasons to take the same position with the NFL's San Diego Chargers. He returned as head coach of the Beavers in 2003 and has cumulative 14-year marks of 93-80 overall, 58-63 in the PAC-10/PAC-12. Riley's teams were 6-2 in bowl games, but never won a single conference title and Oregon State was just 5-7 this year. He played at Alabama as a defensive back from 1971-1974.

Riley replaces Bo Pelini who was fired from Nebraska on November 30 after finishing the season with a 37-34 overtime win at Iowa to conclude a 9-3 campaign. Pelini went 9-4 or 10-4 in every season of his 7-year run and never won a conference championship, though they had one appearance in the Big Ten title game and two in the Big 12. He leaves with a 67-27 record overall (including 1-0 as interim head coach). He was 21-9 in the Big 12 and 15-9 in the Big Ten where Nebraska finished 5-3 every year. Associate head coach Barney Cotton was named interim head coach for Nebraska's bowl game.

On December 17, Wisconsin introduced Paul Chryst as the new head coach. The former offensive coordinator at UW compiled a record of 19-19 overall, 10-13 in league play (Big East, ACC) at Pittsburgh.

The loss of Chryst means the Panthers will be on their 7th and 8th head coaches since 2010 as they named Joe Rudolph interim head coach for their Armed Forces Bowl meeting with Houston and, on December 26, announced Narduzzi to the official post. Rudolph was assistant head football coach and offensive coordinator. Narduzzi was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State since 2007.

Pitt forced Dave Wannstedt (1) to resign following the 2010 regular season. His assistant and former SMU head coach Phil Bennett (2) was acting head coach in Pitt's 27-10 win over Kentucky in the 2010 BBVA Compass Bowl. Michael Haywood (3) was then hired December 16, 2010 but was fired 16 days later after he was arrested and jailed on New Year's Eve on a domestic violence charge. Todd Graham (4) was hired on January 14, 2011 but left after his initial regular season to become head coach at Arizona State. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson (5) was named interim head coach on December 14 for Pitt's repeat appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl game against SMU that produced a 28-6 loss. Chryst (6) was hired by Pitt on January 2, 2012 after the Badgers to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

Tom Herman, recently announced as the Broyles Award winner as the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, was named December 16 as the new head coach at Houston. Herman joined Urban Meyer's new staff with the Buckeyes prior to the 2012 season and also coached the quarterbacks for a school that has gone 36-3 in that span.

Houston fired head football coach Tony Levine on December 8 and named defensive coordinator David Gibbs the interim coach for the Armed Forces Bowl on January 2nd against Pittsburgh. The Cougars were 7-5 this year, 5-3 in the American conference, after the computer projected records of 9-3 (6-2). Levine was promoted from assistant head coach to head coach when Kevin Sumlin left for Texas A&M after the 2011 season. Levine's first game as head coach produced a 30-14 win over Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl, but his 3-year won-loss record was a pedestrian 21-17 (14-10 in conference play), with a T-3 finish in CUSA in 2012, and a 4th-place finish in the American conference each of the last two years.

On December 11, UNLV named Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) High School head coach Tony Sanchez to replace Bobby Hauck. Sanchez takes over a program that has had one winning campaign in the last 14 seasons. Sanchez was 85-5 at Bishop Gorman High and won 6 straight state championships.

UNLV's previous hire came to the school from the FCS ranks. Expectations were high five years ago that Hauck could rejuvenate the program after his success at Montana where he produced a record of 80-17 that included 3 national championship appearances (all lost), but his record with the Rebels was just 15-49. After a 7-6 campaign that included a bowl game in 2013, the team slid back to a 2-11 finish this year. His teams were just 11-29 in conference play, and 4 of his 5 seasons saw UNLV win 2 or fewer league contests. Hauck tendered his resignation on November 28, the day before a season-ending loss to rival Nevada.

On December 11, Tulsa said Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery was its new hire to replace Bill Blankenship. Tulsa relieved Blankenship of his duties on December 1 after four seasons with the Golden Hurricane. His first two teams went a combined 19-8, including an 11-3 performance and CUSA title in 2012, but the last two seasons saw Tulsa win a total of 5 games (5-19). Overall, he was 24-27 (18-14 in CUSA and American Athletic Conference). Montgomery, a 16-year disciple of Baylor head coach Art Briles, has led the Bears to top-4 finishes in total offense in each of the last four seasons.

Florida on December 4 announced the hiring of Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain. The former Alabama offensive coordinator, turned Colorado State around from a 3-9 team the year before his arrival in 2012 to a 10-2 team this year. He was 22-16 overall at CSU and 14-10 in the Mountain West. The 52-year old was an assistant at multiple programs, beginning as QB and WR coach with Eastern Washington from 1987-1994. He also had a year in the NFL as QB coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2006 under Art Shell.

Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin was named interim head coach for Colorado State for the bowl season. You may remember him as the head coach at San Jose State from 1997-2000 where he was 18-27. Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was named the new head coach on December 22. Bobo had been an assistant at Georgia since 2001.

McElwain replaces Will Muschamp whose reign at Florida officially ended November 29 with a 24-19 loss at Florida State. Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin was named interim head coach for the Gators' bowl game.

Muschamp was fired on November 16, effective at the end of the season, after nearly 4 full seasons as the head coach of the Gators. The announcement came the morning after Florida fell to 5-4 (4-4, SEC) with a 23-20 overtime loss to South Carolina and former revered head coach Steve Spurrier. It was the third consecutive home loss for the Gators, and their sixth in eight home games dating back to the 2013 season. The wins came earlier this year over a hapless Eastern Michigan squad, and a triple-overtime nailbiter versus Kentucky. The losses included a 26-20 setback last season to a Georgia Southern squad that only moved up to the FBS level this year.

Muschamp ends his tenure in Gainesville with a 28-21 overall record, and was 17-15 in the SEC. His 2012 squad tied for the SEC's eastern division title, but couldn't play for the SEC Championship because of a tie-breaking loss to rival Georgia. That 2012 team was his best, by far, as the Gators went 11-2. But even that season ended negatively with a 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.

Prior to his arrival at Florida, Muschamp was a heralded defensive coordinator and the head coach-in-waiting at Texas. The Gators targeted the former 4-year letterman at Georgia after Urban Meyer resigned. It didn' take long for Muschamp to find another job as he was announced as Auburn's new defensive coordinator on December 12.

On December 5, Kansas hired former assistant and current Texas A&M receivers coach/recruiting coordinator David Beaty to lead the Jayhawks.

Charlie Weis was fired September 28 after Kansas lost 23-0 at home to Texas to drop to 2-2 this season with the wins coming over FCS member SE Missouri State and the MAC's Central Michigan. Combined with an earlier 41-3 loss to Duke, the blanking by Texas meant Kansas had been outscored 64-3 in in its 2 games (to that point) against schools from Power 5 conferences.

Weis' dismissal from Kansas, which had lost 25 straight road games, came just days before the West Virginia game which, ironically, is the only conference win Weis had on his resume (2013 season). His Jayhawk career ends with records of 6-22 overall and 1-18 vs. the Big 12.

Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen assumed the role of interim head coach and went 1-7.

New head coach Beaty was an assisant with Kansas from 2008-'09 and again in 2011. Bowen will stay on as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

On October 13, Buffalo fired head coach Jeff Quinn after the Bulls became the first FBS team to lose to hapless Eastern Michigan this season. The school's AD, Danny White, who has been in his position just since May of 2012, said, "...Quinn's tenure has not matched our expectations for the growth of Bulls football." Just last season, Quinn coached Buffalo to an 8-5 campaign that earned the school's second-ever bowl bid. But the Bulls were just 3-4 this season with 2 victories against FCS schools and the other over lowly Miami (Ohio). Quinn was 20-36 at Buffalo and is 21-37 in his career. He was 1-1 as an interim head coach in bowl games for Central Michigan and Cincinnati before replacing Turner Gill at Buffalo. Alex Wood, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, was named interim head coach and went 2-2.

On November 30, reported that Quinn's official successor at Buffalo would be Wisconsin-Whitewater's Lance Leipold. At the time of the report, Wisconsin-Whitewater was 12-0 and in the midst of the D-3 playoffs. Leipold went on to win his sixth national title with the school and end his 8-year tenure with a record of 109-6.

On October 5, Larry Blakeney announced he will retire from Troy at the end of his 24th season. He is the second-longest tenured coach in the FBS, behind Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer. The season concluded with Blakeney's Trojans winning only 3 games (3-9) in a watered down Sun Belt conference.

On November 30, Troy confirmed Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown as its new hire. Brown was with the southeast Alabama school for several seasons before moving to Texas Tech as offensive coordinator in 2010, and then on to Lexington for the same position in 2012. He coached wide receivers at Troy from 2006-07, and served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2008-09. The 34-year-old was a wide receiver at Kentucky (1998-2000) and UMass (2001-02.

June Jones announced on September 8 that he was resigning as the head coach of SMU, effective immediately, due to "personal issues". The Mustangs had started 0-2 with losses of 45-0 at Baylor and 43-6 at North Texas. Jones was 36-43 in just over 6 seasons at SMU, won a Conference USA divisional title and tied for another, and took the Mustangs to four bowl games.

Jones began his stint with SMU on January 7, 2008 when he opted to leave behind the island paradise of Hawaii and the program he built into a perennial winner. The failure of the school to improve facilities ultimately contributed greatly to Jones' departure.

In the five years prior to taking over the Warriors in 1999, the team had won just twelve games in five seasons and was winless in 1998. Jones guided Hawaii to a 9-4 record in his first season.

Jones quickly worked some of that same magic with SMU. After a 1-11 inaugural campaign, he guided SMU to an 8-5 mark in 2009 and the first of four straight bowl games. But Jones never could get SMU to the next level. While the Mustangs won 3 of the 4 bowl games, they came up short in their only Conference USA championship game appearance.

Defensive coordinator Tom Mason was given the interim had coaching duties and went 1-9 with a victory in the season finale at UConn.

On November 30, the Dallas Morning News and other sources reported the Mustangs had hired Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. He is a native of Texas who coached Bay City to a state title in 2000), and then Lake Travis High School in Austin to a pair of state titles in his only 2 years at the school (2008-2009). Tulsa picked him up as an offensive coordinator in 2010 and he moved to Clemson in 2011. The 45-year-old played quarterback in high school and is a Texas A&M alum.


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