Eastern Michigan University’s Vice President/Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Heather Lyke, announced Friday that coach Ron English had been relieved of his duties effective immediately.
Lyke issued a statement roughly an hour prior to kickoff explaining her knowledge of a recording in which English was heard berating his players.
“I received a tape of a situation in which Coach English had addressed the team and used wholly inappropriate language,” the release stated. “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.”
In the recording, first obtained and reported on by The Detroit News, English is clearly heard using a homosexual slur directed at his players.
In an interview with the Associated Press Saturday, English later expressed regret for his use of those slurs.
Lyke stated the tape, as well as other factors, as being the reason for English’s dismissal.
“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,” she said. “Our primary interest is in the well-being and success of our student-athletes and this will continue to be our priority in every decision we make and every action we take. My focus moving forward is on the quality of our student-athletes’ experience as well as the search process for the next leader of our football program.”
English went 11-46 in 57 games as EMU’s coach from 2009-2013.
His last game as coach was a 55-16 loss at the University of Toledo last Saturday where the defense gave up 729 total yards.
English lost his last seven games against Mid-American Conference teams. The last win was at Western Michigan University (29-23) on Nov. 17, 2012.
The 45-year old coach was due $335,517 in base salary this season, according to a report on EMU’s Division of Business and Finance website.
“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.”
Lyke also announced that Stan Parrish would be the interim coach for the remainder of the season.
In 13 years as a collegiate coach, Parrish is 63-60-3 all-time in stints at Wabash (1978-82), Marshall (1984-85), Kansas State University (1986-88) and Ball State (2008-10).
The Eagles won 35-32 in overtime against the Western Michigan University Broncos in Parrish’s first game as interim coach.
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