BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — Longtime Bemidji State University head football coach Jeff Tesch has been fired.

Tesch had been on paid administrative leave since August after allegedly uttering a racial slur during a preseason practice. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports he was fired Monday.

Tesch released a statement through the union representing him, thanking his players and assistants and the community for its support during his two decades as head coach.

The Bemidji State University Faculty Association says it plans to file a grievance over Tesch's firing.

Tesch compiled a 126-91 record during his 20-year tenure and was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference's coach of the year in 2006.

Defensive coordinator Brent Bolte took over head coaching duties this season. The team is 7-3.

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