The University of San Diego has announced that head football coach Dale Lindsey is retiring after a decade on the job. The only problem is that Lindsey, 80, says that is not what happened.
On Tuesday, San Diego announced Lindsey's retirement, and athletic director Bill McGillis put out a statement thanking Lindsey for his many contributions to the program.
"Coach Lindsey is leaving an incredible legacy at the University of San Diego. Beyond the extraordinary level of championship success our program has achieved under his leadership, Coach Lindsey established a standard of excellence for the young men in our program, and the lessons they've learned from him will last a lifetime.
The numbers speak for themselves, but they don't even begin to tell the story of the impact he's made at USD. His emphasis on - and commitment to - the value of a college education has been the true hallmark of his leadership from day one. He 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.
"Tremendous man. Tremendous coach. Tremendous leader. Coach Lindsey led our program with great integrity, and he has built a model program in every sense of the word. His presence and leadership have been a gift to our scholar-athletes, alumni, coaches and community. We have been blessed."
At the time, it seemed like a heartfelt send-off for the winningest coach in San Diego history. That is, until Lindsey spoke to The San Diego Union-Tribune and refuted the school's retirement announcement. Lindsey said he was forced out by McGillis.
"I did not f--ing retire," Lindsey said. "I was shown the door and would like to coach. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it."
Lindsey went 80-30 in 10 seasons with the Toreros, including a 68-8 record in the Pioneer Football League. Under Lindsey's watch, San Diego won at least a share of the conference title seven times and went to the FCS playoffs five times.
According to Lindsey, he still has a lot of gas left in the tank, and he definitely isn't ready to kick back and relax in retirement.
"I wasn't planning on retiring," Lindsey said. "I know chronologically how old I am. But I don't function like an 80-year-old man. If you just sit at home, you become a vegetable - and vegetables die sooner or later. 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."
When asked by the Union-Tribune whether Lindsey was fired, McGillis declined to answer the question directly, even when pressed on the matter.
"He is absolutely a fantastic head coach," McGillis said. "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.
"And we look forward in the future to honoring him and celebrating a remarkable legacy."