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Former San Diego football coach challenges college claim he retired after 10 years: ‘I was shown the door’

The University of San Diego announced earlier this week that head football coach Dale Lindsey, the winningest coach in the program’s history, would retire after 10 seasons with the Toreros.

But the 80-year-old coach refuted that claim on Wednesday, telling the San Diego Union-Tribune that he was “walked out the door.”

Dale Lindsey poses for his NFL portrait in 2006. (Getty Pictures)

Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Athletics Bill McGillis made the announcement Tuesday, calling Lindsey “one of the greatest head coaches” in San Diego history and “one of the elite head coaches college football.”


“Coach Lindsey leaves 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 has set a standard of excellence for young men in our program and the lessons they have that I 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 had at USD,” McGillis said.

“His focus 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 the USD as one of the greatest coaches in the history of our university and one of the elite head coaches in college football Great man Great coach Great leader Coach Lindsey has 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 college-athletes, alumni, coaches and community. We have been blessed.”

But Lindsey painted a different picture of his exit, telling the Union-Tribune he “didn’t [expletive] withdraw.”


“I was shown the door and I would like to be a coach. This is my story and I stick to it,” he said.

“I had no intention of retiring,” Lindsey continued. “I know chronologically how old I am. But I don’t function like an 80-year-old. If you sit at home, you become a vegetable – and vegetables die sooner or later. I’ve seen too many coaches work hard for 40 years, thinking they’re going to retire in a golden parachute.

“Then they’re dead in six months. I don’t want to be one [of those]nor do I intend to be one.”

Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington talks to linebackers coach Dale Lindsey during training camp in Ashburn, Virginia August 4, 2004.

Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington talks to linebackers coach Dale Lindsey during training camp in Ashburn, Virginia August 4, 2004. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


Lindsey finished his decade-long career in San Diego with an 80-30 record, which included seven PFL championships and five FCS playoff appearances. He was also a three-time PFL Coach of the Year.

McGillis repeatedly declined to answer the outlet’s question about Lindsey’s claim that he was fired. The veteran coach said he never received an explanation.

“I haven’t had a reason. I’ve already been fired. You never have a reason. I can’t tell you more than what I was told, ‘You don’t work here anymore. Goodbye,'” Lindsey said.

Lindsey played in the NFL after being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1965. After eight seasons, he would go on to play one more season with the New Orleans Saints.

After his playing career, Lindsey coached several different NFL teams, including the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears and Chicago Bears. San Diego Chargers.


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