November 2, 2018
I can’t imagine retiring in the middle of a trial. Or a surgeon retiring in the middle of an operation. Or a teacher retiring in the middle of a math class.
But Denny Douds decided to retire on his terms. And it was a classy farewell.
Douds has been the head football coach at East Stroudsburg University for 45 years (to put that in perspective, Reagan was in his first term and Michelle Robinson (later to marry someone named Barack Obama) was a sophomore in college). He entered last Saturday’s game against Ohio Dominican as the active NCAA career leader in wins.
With four seconds left in the game, and East Stroudsburg trailing 48-35, Douds called a time-out. He had already used up the three allotted time-outs, so he was going to draw a penalty for doing so, and he knew that.
He gathered his team, announced his retirement, and then walked off the field (with a grin on his face, he says), leaving the puzzled television announcers to figure out what was going on.
Douds — who coached current Penn State head football coach James Franklin — is not leaving the university entirely, but he certainly earned his retirement. And the right to do it his way.