College Says Its Coach Retired. Coach: 'I Did Not F---ing Retire'

San Diego's 'winningest coach' ever is not going along with school's line on why he left
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2023 7:35 AM CDT
College Says Its Coach Retired. He Has a Different Take
In this Nov. 29, 2014, file photo, San Diego head coach Dale Lindsey watches from the sidelines during an NCAA playoff game against Montana in Missoula, Montana.   (AP Photo/Lido Vizzutti, File)

On Tuesday, the University of San Diego's athletic director, Bill McGillis, announced in a statement that Dale Lindsey, the "winningest coach" in USD's history, "will retire from USD as one of the greatest head coaches in our university's history and one of the elite head coaches in college football." The 80-year-old coach, who's been with the school for more than a decade, may not take issue withg the compliment, but he's pushing back on the "retire" part, reports "I did not f---ing retire," Lindsey told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Wednesday. "I was shown the door and would like to coach. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it."

Lindsey says he was called down to speak to McGillis and given his walking papers. "Anytime you're called into the principal's office, you know something's wrong," he tells the newspaper. "I didn't get a reason. I've been fired before. You never get a reason. I can't tell you any more than I was told: 'You no longer work here. Goodbye.'" Lindsey joined the USD team in 2012, notching an 80-30 record and taking the Toreros team to seven conference titles. At 80, he was the NCAA's oldest Division I head coach before his exit. McGillis, for his part, continued to gush about the ex-coach's legacy, much as he did in his original statement, to the Union-Tribune, which asked directly if Lindsey had been fired.

"What I can share is that by every measure of success, Dale Lindsey has been absolutely tremendous," McGillis said. "He is absolutely a fantastic head coach [who] has demonstrated great integrity." McGillis wouldn't answer the firing query. Lindsey, who played nine years in the NFL, says he just wasn't ready to pack it in. "I know chronologically how old I am," he told the Union-Tribune. "But I don't function like an 80-year-old man. ... I've seen too many coaches work their ass off for 40 years, think they're going to go off to some golden parachute retirement. Then they're dead in six months. I don't want to be one [of those], nor do I intend to be one." More here on his career and how his current and former players feel about him. (More University of San Diego stories.)

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