All great coaches dream of riding off into the sunset with a championship and then retirement, triumphantly carried off the field by their players, trophy in hand. But, University of San Diego coach Dale Lindsey got the opposite of that scenario.
Lindsey is likely the greatest football coach in San Diego history, but his life in football goes well-beyond that. He was a member of Charlie Bradshaw’s “Thin Thirty”, the University of Kentucky football team in 1962 that was cut down from 88 players to 30 due to Bradshaw’s notoriously harsh coaching habits that he learned from Bear Bryant. There, he spent a life of sixty years in football, including a eight years in the NFL as a linebacker.
His coaching stops included eclectic jobs at places like the Toronto Argonauts, New Mexico State, numerous NFL teams and the Boston Breakers. He was hired by San Diego in 2013 and excelled there. In ten years there, the team finished with a winning record nine times and never finished below .500. They won at least a share of the league title in the Pioneer Football League eight times, and made the FCS Playoffs five times, where San Diego reached the 2nd round twice. But, that wasn’t enough for Lindsey to get an eleventh year, as they went 7-4 and 5-5 the last two years. It was announced that he had retired by San Diego on Wednesday, but apparently that was not the case.
Here is football scoop with more details.
“I did not (bleeping) retire,” Lindsey told the paper. “I was shown the door and would like to coach. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”
Asked twice if San Diego in fact fired Lindsey, AD Bill McGillis declined to state definitively one way or the other.
“He is absolutely a fantastic head coach. He has demonstrated great integrity, values that match the University of San Diego, a commitment to education and mentoring his players in a way that will benefit them for the rest of their lives,” he said. “And we look forward in the future to honoring him and celebrating a remarkable legacy.”
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this before, but maybe the now-retired Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim can relate.