Eastern Michigan Eagles head football coach Ron English was fired on Friday.
English’s dismissal came on the eve of the Eagles’ game against the Western Michigan Broncos and at a time when his team has lost eight straight games by an average score of 48-18, per USA Today Sports‘ Kevin Bull.
EMU athletics director Heather Lyke stated a change was necessary for the team, which has gone 11-46 with English at the helm.
“At this time, I have decided that a change in the leadership of our football team is necessary. Eastern Michigan University’s commitment to our student-athletes remain of the utmost importance as we move forward with the rest of this season and in selecting the new leader of our program.”
According to Larry Lage of the Associated Press, Lyke also “received audio of English using ‘wholly inappropriate language’ while addressing the Eagles.”
The EMU AD elaborated further.
“We hold our coaches and staff to high standards of professionalism and conduct and there is no place, particularly in a student environment, where this language is appropriate. The statements made by Coach English are absolutely unacceptable.
“My decision to make a change in leadership of our football program was the culmination of a lot of factors including the comprehensive review of our program, the competitive performance and this tape.”
English poured his heart out in a telephone interview with the Associated Press, saying he lost his composure at such a key moment.
“As a man who has coached 21 years, obviously, on this occasion and particular meeting, I lost my poise, got upset and used language that was inappropriate, particularly as it pertains to homosexual slurs. I regret that.
“I apologize to the university for putting it in this position and tarnishing its reputation. I look forward to continuing a career that has been marked by molding men of integrity, passion, and intensity for 21 years.”
The Detroit News was able to upload a recording of English’s rant and stated “It also sounds like English used a derogatory word for gay. There was much more that was said that is not suitable for publication.”
First-year offensive coordinator Stan Parrish was named interim head coach and guided the Eagles to a 35-32 overtime home victory over the Broncos with just 2,177 in attendance on Nov. 9.
English, a former defensive coordinator of the Louisville Cardinals and Michigan Wolverines, was slated to earn a base salary of $349,937 in 2013.