RESIGNS AT VANDERBILT 11/8/01
of Athletics Todd Turner's Statement
(Will be posted shortly after completion of statements)
head football Woody Widenhofer resigned his position Thursday
evening, effective the end of the current football season.
has an overall record of 15-37 in five years at Vanderbilt.
The Commodores are 2-6 this season and host Kentucky Saturday
before ending their season with road trips to Tennessee (Nov.
24) and Mississippi (Dec. 1).
read a brief statement, in which he acknowledged the struggles
of this season and his belief that it was in "everyone's best
interest" to resign. He thanked his team, his coaching staff
and the Vanderbilt fans for their loyalty and support. Widenhofer
had previously been a head coach at the University of Missouri
(1985-88) and the Oklahoma Outlaws of the USFL (1984).
58, spent 17 years in the National Football League. He is
perhaps best known for his 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh
Steelers, who won four Super Bowl championships during his
tenure. He was the defensive coordinator of the famed "Steel
Curtain" for seven of those seasons.
also coached four years (1989-92) with the Detroit Lions and
two seasons with the Cleveland Browns (1993-94) before arriving
at Vanderbilt as defensive coordinator in 1995. He immediately
established the Commodore defense as one of the best. In 1997,
Vanderbilt led the Southeastern Conference in total defense
for the first time in school history.
football also improved its already strong academic reputation
under Widenhofer. Last summer, the NCAA announced that Vanderbilt
led the nation in football graduation percentage with a perfect
100% for its most recently tracked class.
is a sad day for me personally and for our athletics program,"
Director of Athletics Todd Turner said. "Woody is as good
a colleague and friend as I have ever worked with and we have
all enjoyed our association with him and his staff. In many
ways, he's been extraordinarily successful. Our team's academic
achievements under his leadership have been the most noteworthy
in Vanderbilt history. Our players have gone on to successful
careers in the NFL, business and graduate school. Woody has
much to be proud of and we will all be grateful for his friendship
and service to Vanderbilt."