On Tuesday, San Diego announced the retirement of longtime football coach Dale Lindsey, who had led the Toreros to seven conference titles in 10 years. In a statement, USD athletics director Bill McGillis wrote that Lindsey “will retire from USD as one of the greatest head coaches in our university’s history and one of the elite head coaches in college football.”
Given his many accomplishments, that last part is undeniably true. The “retire” part? Not so fast—at least, according to Lindsey.
The 80-year-old coach whose career spans across six decades had harsh words for the school’s retirement announcement, telling Don Norcross of The San Diego Union Tribune on Wednesday: “I did not f—ing retire.”
“I was shown the door and would like to coach,” Lindsey said. “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”
Lindsey said he was not given a reason for his dismissal, simply that he was told, “You no longer work here. Goodbye.” When Norcross asked McGillis whether or not Lindsey had been fired, the AD declined to answer the question directly.
Lindsey, who posted an 80–30 record during his USD tenure, insisted that he had no desire to stop coaching.
“I wasn’t planning on retiring. I know chronologically how old I am. But I don’t function like an 80-year-old man,” Lindsey said. “If you just sit at home, you become a vegetable—and vegetables die sooner or later. I’ve seen too many coaches work their ass off for 40 years, think they’re going to go off to some golden parachute retirement. Then they’re dead in six months. I don’t want to be one [of those], nor do I intend to be one.”