GAMBIER — After nine seasons, Kenyon College and head football coach Ted Stanley are parting ways.
Stanley resigned on Monday, two days after finishing a second straight 0-10 season as coach of the Lords. In nine years, he compiled a 20-70 record.
In an interview with the News, Stanley said the resignation was “in lieu of termination.”
Stanley said he was contacted by Kenyon dean of students Hank Toutain on Sunday, one day after the season-ending defeat to Denison, and was told that he would not continue as head coach.
The move came as somewhat of a surprise to Stanley. He had been a part of a committee that was put together by Kenyon president S. Georgia Nugent to evaluate the football program and develop ways to stir interest. Stanley said there was never any discussion of removing him.
“Obviously, we needed to improve,” said Stanley of the committee meetings. “The school recognized that. I think our recommendations were taken, and some of those things had come true. And now, I won’t see the benefits of their work. I do feel a little upset by that, and not treated very well that way.”
In a statement posted on its website, Kenyon announced Stanley resigned “after several years in which the football program has struggled to attract recruits and to find success on the field.”
Stanley said he was offended by the statement.
“Look at the teams that I have had,” said Stanley. “We had some of the best Kenyon offenses ever. And that was due to my ability to recruit ... and the assistant coaches with me. Unfortunately, in the last two years, we were not able to bring in the type of kid that we wanted to bring in to help us be competitive. And they were, in my mind, admissable students, and could certainly handle the Kenyon workload. They chose not to allow those kids in.”
Stanley said he has been attempting to change the attitude of football at Kenyon since his arrival.
“It takes more than a football coach,” said Stanley. “It takes the entire institution. You need to build a culture around it. Football can bring the whole campus together, and really the whole community. I think they were unwilling to try to do things to try to create that culture. ... Does that mean more money? Probably. Does that mean paying coaches a competitive rate? Probably.”
Officials at the Kenyon athletic office did not return phone messages. In an emailed statement, Toutain said, “Kenyon is grateful for the nearly nine years that Ted Stanley has served as head football coach, for the passion and dedication that he brought to his work, and for the ways in which he has had a positive impact on the lives of many student-athletes.”
Lords’ defensive coordinator Ty McGuire will serve as interim head coach.
McGuire confirmed that he is interested in the permanent head coaching position.
“I will be putting in my application very soon,” said McGuire. “Hopefully, we’ll have a pretty good idea pretty soon on where we stand.”
No one at Kenyon would comment on a timetable for the search for a new head coach, except that the search will be “accelerated.”
Stanley met with the players on Monday to give them the news.
“They took it as well as they could,” said Stanley. “We care for each other deeply.”
Stanley became the head coach in 2003 and began a rebuilding program, taking the team to a 6-4 overall record (6-1 in North Coast Athletic Conference play) in 2005. The Lords went 10-50 in the following six seasons, finishing on a 23-game losing streak.
“I definitely still want to coach,” said Stanley. “Looking at all the opportunities that still exist, I think people will see that I’m very competent at what I’m doing.
“If you ask anybody at Kenyon, they’ll tell you that I did it the right way, and I was extremely passionate about it.”