Nov. 4, 2001
Head Coach Tom Holmoe
We are having this press conference today to announce that I am resigning as the head football coach at Cal effective at the conclusion of this football season. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I've had to be the football coach at Cal. It's been a great experience, one that I'm sure that just about every football coach or aspiring head football coach in the country would so desire. When I came in here five years ago as the head football coach, I had a plan to come in and build a program, build these young men into a team and into a group that could last for a long time. I had a plan to bring people along, not just the football players and the coaches themselves, but the whole department and campus, to a point where we could continue on for a long, long time. I was unsuccessful in that plan and the dreams and the hopes that we set and didn't come to fruition.
Regardless of that, the experience was a very rich one and one that I would never pass up. If I had to do it over again, I would. There are great people at Cal, from the alumni to the current students, everything about this school is a wonderful and terrific thing. People may ask why now, why at this time, but I felt that it was very important as the head football coach of this team to be able to be with them. These are some very tough, troubled times for our team. We've had a lot of difficulties, some of them we've been able to understand and quite frankly some of the problems are tough to understand. But as I've been taught from some of the teams that I've been on, when things get tough the coaches and players hang on together, especially the head coach, and I for one would under no circumstances would leave this team during the season, and so I am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me to finish up this season.
I'd like to express my appreciation to Chancellor Berdahl and Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell, who have done a very good job of showing leadership through this tough time and helping out the football program through these times. I've very interested and concerned about the future of the program. I do take full responsibility for the failures of the team this year and in the past years. Like I said, I had a plan and I tried to stick to it. Some things went wrong that we couldn't correct and ultimately every coach that's in the business long enough knows that he usually pays a price for a poor win/loss record, which is what we have and that falls on me.
I think that early in the season, with the expectations that we had and knowing full well that this would be a very important season for me, that the way we started off the season was not a good sign. From that point forward, we had to struggle to fight and survive to get back on gauge. When we didn't and we continued to struggle, I had to think in my mind what was going to be the best way for the team to either right itself or for the best way for the team to get through the storm. I have considered various options for awhile. It's hard for any coach to ever concede, but the one thing that I made clear was that I wasn't going to jump off the ship at midstream. There was no way that that was going to happen. I felt that if I made an announcement early in the season that it would have been difficult for the team to perhaps stay together. I figured this was about the right time. I want to make it clear that our intentions are not to coast through the last three weeks. Everybody understands now what the situation will be in the future. Steve and his staff will now have an opportunity to now openly pursue a candidate to come and take this position, which I believe is the right thing to do at this point.
Athletic Director Steve Gladstone
No doubt at all that these have been very difficult times. I want to make it very clear that as a coach, I have profound respect for the way Tom and his staff and his players have managed this adversity. It's very easy, as you know, when there are struggles to lash out to blame others. There has not been a trace of that. There has been a sense of ownership and a sense of responsibility that I say ultimately defines who Tom is. One can't have more admiration for that kind of clarity. What I'd like to say publicly is that so many of the virtues that Tom embodies personally are absolutely critical to our overall athletic mission at the University. So it's with respect and sadness that we accept Tom's resignation. However, I think time will prove that in many ways there was a foundation of integrity and dignity that was laid by Tom and his staff that will never change.