- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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John Blake, North Carolina’s associate head football coach, has resigned effective today, the school announced this evening. Blake was in his fourth season as a member of the Tar Heel coaching staff.
John Blake statement:
“While I have enjoyed my tenure at the University of North Carolina, it has become apparent to me over the course of the past few weeks that my presence has become a distraction to my family and to this great University, too. Consequently, I have determined that it is in the best interests of my family, the University community at large, and the Football Program for me to step down from my position as associate head football coach effective today, September 5, 2010.
“I thank the Lord for the opportunity I have had to work with Butch Davis while at the University of North Carolina. I have grown to love and respect the school, my fellow coaches, and the young men who have worked so diligently to improve both as students and as football players. That love and respect has led me to the conclusion that the best decision for all involved is for me to step aside at this time. I wish the players, the coaches, and the University all the best.
“I thank the Tar Heel Nation for the overwhelming support I have received. The memories I have made here will last a lifetime. May God bless you all.”
UNC coach Butch Davis statement:
“Knowing John as I have over the years, it is clear that this was a difficult decision for him to make. I know how much John loves the players, coaching and the game of football. I am grateful for all of his hard work and effort in helping build this program. As difficult as this situation is, I have accepted his resignation. Throughout his career, I know he has worked hard to help young men become better people and football players. He and his family have made positive contributions to our football program.
“The Tar Heel family has tremendous passion for the University and everything it represents. It’s one of the things that made me want to be a Tar Heel four years ago. All of us who are part of the football program have been both disappointed and embarrassed by recent events. Our student-athletes, coaches and I are committed to working every day, both on and off the field, to build a better football program, one that everyone associated with the University of North Carolina can and will be proud of.”
UNC director of athletics Dick Baddour statement:
“Coach Blake had indicated to me in previous conversations that he would step down if he felt his presence with the football program would become a distraction. I appreciate and respect his decision to do what is best for the University and our football program. I know the young men he coached are tremendously disappointed, but Coach Davis and his staff will help and support them as the season moves forward.”
Blake’s employment agreement with the University provided him an annual base salary of $240,000 and would have expired June 30, 2011. He will receive $74,500, which approximates the salary he would have received had he completed the football season. This will be entirely paid using football revenues.
12hDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman