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Tyrone Willingham Is Calling It A Career At Washington

Remember when Ty Willingham was on (or at the) top of the college football world? The guy won a Pac-10 title at Stanford (Stanford!) and in the late '90s was one of the rising stars of the college coaching world. Then in 2002, he replaced George O'Leary Bob Davie at Notre Dame and promptly went 8-0 with wins over rivals Michigan, Michigan State and Florida State. He saved Fighting Irish football! Except ... not so much. Now, after an 0-7 start and a hapless 3+ years at the University of Washington, Willingham is done. He will step down at the end of the year. It's still a little baffling that after showing so much promise in that first year at ND, things turned so sour so quickly. The next season they went 5-7, then 6-6, and he was done after just 3 years. But back in the Pac-10 away from all the racism pressure of South Bend, surely he could get things back on track? But things got even worse. Since 2005, the Huskies are 11-32, working on three last-place finishes and in 2008—seven losses, only one of them close, and a 33-7 drubbing to his replacement last week. Now, he and his team are playing out the string and it seems highly unlikely he'll be a head coach again. And let's be honest ... race does play a big part of his story, both in his rise to national prominence and his quick exit from South Bend. It will certainly come up in other coaching obituaries for Willingham, and not without reason. (There have only been 19 African-American head coaches in D-I ... ever?) But 0-7 is 0-7, no matter who your coach is and at least now the Huskies don't have to look at guillotine hanging over their heads for the rest of the year. • UW's Willingham to step down [KING]


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