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Willingham steps down at Notre Dame
Willingham Steps Down; Is Meyer Next?
BlueandGold.com Associate Editor
ESPN announced at 1:30 p.m. EST this afternoon that Tyrone Willingham will not return as Notre Dame’s head coach in 2005. Speculation centered on current Utah head coach Urban Meyer, an Irish assistant from 1996-2000 who has a Notre Dame clause in his contract, as the top candidate to replace Willingham.
Could Urban Meyer become the next coach for Notre Dame?
Willingham is only the second non-interim Notre Dame coach to hold the position only three years. The other was Hunk Anderson (1931-33). Perhaps not coincidentally, Anderson and Willingham are the only two Notre Dame coaches to lose each of their first three games against archrival USC. Willingham lost his third straight by 31 points to the Trojans this past weekend.
Willingham’s three-year record of 21-15 (.583) is virtually identical to the three-year marks posted by Gerry Faust (18-15-1) and Bob Davie (21-16) after their third seasons with the Irish. More distressing was the lack of appreciable progress after an 8-0 start his first year. Since then, Notre Dame is 13-15.
Moreover, the Irish have lost eight games by 21 points or more under Willingham. Faust and Davie combined for just seven such losses in their 10 years combined. After last year’s 5-7 debacle, Notre Dame only managed a 6-5 mark this year, including a loss at 5-6 BYU to open the season and home losses to Big East foes Boston College and Pittsburgh. Although the Irish did upset two Top 10-ranked teams in Michigan and Tennessee, the frustrating losses overshadowed the dramatic victories.
Sources indicated that Willingham and his family were unhappy in South Bend and were looking for opportunities elsewhere. A news conference is scheduled to be held at the University at 4:00 p.m. EST.
Re: Willingham steps down at Notre Dame
ND has egg on their face twice as Urban has chosen Florida.
ND must realize they can't be the team they once were. They plan on scheduling cupcakes in the future which is pointless for an independent, they might as well join a conference.DJRamFan
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