Monday Ball State athletics director Andi Seger granted head football coach Bill Lynch a contract extension through Jan. 31, 2004. The Cardinals finished the 2001 season with a 5-6 overall record -- Ball State's fifth-straight losing season.
However the team accomplished a major goal that they set. Winning a Mid-American Conference West championship. The Cards finished in a three-way tie with Northern Illinois and Toledo.
This is a good start, but to ensure the future of Ball State football the bar needs to be raised. The Daily News sets these goals for the next two years of Ball State football.
1.) A winning season. The Cardinals have not finished the season with a winning record since 1996. This is unacceptable for a program trying to keep its NCAA Division IA status.
2.) A MAC championship. 1996 was also the last time Ball State hoisted the championship trophy into the air. Winning a share of the division title is a great step, especially after overcoming a 21-game losing streak. But now is the time to take the next step.
3.) Continue the progress of the stadium project. Ball State is working to bring its football facilities up to par, and the new training facility is a great start. The program finally has something tangible to recruit with, but only if it does not falter due to lack of fund raising ability.
Lynch and his staff showed this year that they can bring success back to Ball State football. It is now up to the administration to keep up their side of the bargain.