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December 2003

December 2003


Stepping Into Retirement

Four coaching legends discuss life after football
by: Richard Scott
© December 2003

Forget about Bob Stoops, Jim Tressell and Larry Coker. The best college football coaches in America are the former coaches who show up when they want to at home football games, sit in their suites or club level seats surrounded by family and friends and thank the football gods that they no longer have to sweat the outcome.

There’s nothing like retirement to make a head coach the second most popular guy in town, right behind the backup quarterback. He’s the professor emeritus, the coach who hasn’t lost a game in years.

“When I was coaching I was that dumb guy who ran up the middle,” says Don Nehlen, who retired in 2000 after 21 years as the head coach at West Virginia. “Now they call me a legend. I guess retiring is a pretty good deal.”
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