Report: Willingham says he's done with coaching

July, 20, 2010
7/20/10
1:07
PM ET
Tyrone Willingham told a newspaper in Jacksonville, N.C. that he is done with coaching.

"I’m retired,” the 56-year-old told the newspaper.

If so, what's his coaching legacy?

Is it mostly about a generally successful tenure at Stanford, where he led the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl after the 1999 season? Or is it about his bitter departures from Notre Dame and then Washington?

He won the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award in 2002. He also finished with a tepid 76-88-1 record, including a horrible 11-37 mark at Washington.

Let's just say the distance between the perception of Willingham as a coach in 2002 and today is vast. While many folks talk about Willingham as a man of integrity and great leader, you will find plenty of others who have less positive takes.

It's not completely uncharitable to suggest that Willingham being retired is not entirely by choice. It's unlikely he would have landed another head coaching job in a BCS conference. When I've speculated with other writers about what Willingham might do next, the Ivy League often came up. Apparently, however, Willingham isn't looking to get back to the sidelines in any capacity, anywhere. At least for now.

Coaches accustomed to the crucible of competition often struggle with retirement. So, even among Willingham's most vocal critics, no one should begrudge him the state of contentment he claims to have found away from the action.

"Life is good,” he told the newspaper.

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