LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has fired athletic director Sheahon Zenger, with Chancellor Douglas Girod saying that "progress has been elusive" in some areas of the program.

Girod fired Zenger Monday and elevated deputy director Sean Lester to interim athletic director while the university searches for a replacement.

Girod says Zenger had been a "loyal Jayhawk" and the university's athletics programs had improved. But Girod added the department "continues to face a number of challenges" without mentioning the football team, historically the worst in the Big 12 Conference.

The firing comes a year after Zenger received a four-year extension on his contract and an increase in base pay to $700,000 a year. The university will pay Zenger more than $1.4 million under that contract.

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