"For the next six days my focus will be very simple," said Darnell. "To prepare the team to be in the best shape possible so we can beat Marshall."
For some people it may be hard to go into work for your last week, knowing your fate, and still put forth your best effort and do your job. For Gary Darnell quite the opposite is true. "I am not cavalier about this," said Darnell. "When you get hired to do something you do your job and right now [preparing for Marshall] is my job.
"I intend to address all the questions this week as head football coach of Western Michigan University," Darnell also told the media asking for attention to be paid to the last game of the season rather then his employment situation.
"As long as I'm the football coach that will be the gist of the conversations this week. Once I'm not the football coach that'll be the time to address those kinds of questions because that's the time for those kinds of questions. This is the Bronco football team's week, it's not my week, and this week will be a normal work week for us."
Well, almost a normal work week.
Darnell announced at the weekly press luncheon Monday that practices will be closed sessions this week and that after 5pm Monday players were no longer available to the media for interviews.
The goals for the week will be very simple. "I hope the guys have fun playing football this week," said Darnell. "We want to surround ourselves with guys who have fun doing hard things."
The Search Begins:
Immediately following the decision to relieve Darnell of his coaching duties athletic director Kathy Beauregard began to form a search committee to formally contact candidates for Darnell's replacement.
Darnell himself even has some insight into what type of coach will replace him. "I trust that leadership will be given to someone who is student-athlete sensitive," said Darnell who expects his replacement to not be a ‘win at all costs' coach but one that will value academics and community involvement as much as athletic success. "That person should bring a comprehensive approach to the program."
Beauregard has indicated that the target date for naming a new coach is December 10 – the next time the Board of Trustees meets.
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