Dennis “Denny” Douds announced that he would step down as head coach of ESU Football at the end of last Saturday’s game against Ohio Dominican University.
Douds made his dramatic announcement on the field. With four seconds left in the game, he gathered his team together in one big huddle and told the team that he would no longer be their head coach.
Douds has spent the past 53 years as a football coach including 45 years as head coach of the Warriors.
In addition, Douds has been a great ambassador for ESU, and he will continue to raise money for ESU Athletics and the university.
Separately, Douds is also a professor of sport management, and he will continue in that role.
Jimmy Terwilliger was named Interim Head Coach, and he will coach the final two road games of the season against Shippensburg and Clarion.
Dr. Marcia Welsh, President of ESU, was among the first to pay tribute to Douds.
“I love Denny Douds, and he means everything to this university,” Welsh said. “And he will never disappear.”
“He is stepping down as head coach, but he is not going away,” stated Welsh.
“His goal is to raise money to improve our potential,” Welsh said.
“He has found a new niche for himself, and I love him to death,” stated Welsh.
New Head Coach Jimmy Terwilliger said, “There are lot of big shoes to fill here.”
“I am both honored and excited about the opportunity to build and grow what is already a tremendous foundation,” stated Terwilliger.
“Coach Douds is a hero to me, and he walked off the field after his team gave everything that they had,” Terwilliger said.
“You can only hope that one day we can all share that same career, and I look forward to the opportunity to grow this program,” stated Terwilliger.
Mike Terwilliger is the offensive coordinator for ESU Football.
“There will only ever be one Denny Douds,” he said. “And what he has done here at East Stroudsburg is second to no place.”
“For him to step down is his decision, and I have just been very fortunate to spend the amount of time I have had with Denny Douds,” stated Mike Terwilliger.
Mike Santella coaches the offensive line for the Warriors.
“Coach gave me an opportunity to live out a dream,” Santella said.
“He took a young guy from Bethlehem, Pa. that never played college football and gave me the opportunity to make a living and work for my alma mater and coached a great game of football,” stated Santella.
“I will forever be indebted for what he has done for me and my family,” Santella said.
Chad Braine is the defensive coordinator for the team.
“Ironically, I have worked for seven schools,” Braine said. “But he is the only college football coach who was still currently coaching as a head football coach.”
“It just shows his longevity and leadership power,” stated Braine.
“He is like that second dad to a lot of different people, so it hurts for all of us to see him go,” Braine said.
“He has a lot of pride, and that’s why he doesn’t like to have attention,” stated Braine. “He’s very humble, and he went out like that.”
“I don’t think he’ll really understand the impact that he has had on everybody,” Braine said. “He’s the reason I’m in coaching.”
“He’s a great leader, and he has done it for 53 years,” stated Braine.
“He will truly be missed,” Braine said.
Sandy Miller is Head Coach of ESU Field Hockey.
“I just see him as an outstanding role model,” Miller said. “And just someone who truly cares about ESU and Warrior Athletics.”
“So it was kind of a surprise and sad thing to see him go–especially with two games left in the season,” stated Miller. “But we wish him well.”
“But it was a tough day knowing that Denny impacted so many young men’s lives and coaches,” Miller said.
“So I have a lot of respect for Denny and wish him the best,” stated Miller.
“We lost a heck of a leader and mentor in our athletic department, but we are excited he is going to be doing other things: fundraising and stuff,” Miller said.
Jeff Wilson is the Head Coach of ESU Men’s Basketball.
“I knew Coach Douds for quite a long time,” Wilson said.
“I got to know Denny not just as a coach but as a friend, mentor–and someone I view as the best of the best,” stated Wilson.
“Denny always had time for you,” Wilson said. “He has had a huge impact on my career from a different sport.”
“Denny is an icon. He is a legend here,” stated Wilson.
“Obviously, he has a field named after him, and he will be missed,” Wilson said.
Rob Berkowitz coaches soccer for the Warriors.
“Coach Douds has been a mentor, an inspiration, and somebody I’ve looked up to since I’ve arrived on campus at ESU,” Berkowitz said.
“He has represented the university, the athletic department and the football program with the highest amount of integrity and class,” stated Berkowitz.
“I wish him the best as he moves on to the next stage of his career,” Berkowitz said.
“Happy he was able to go out on his own terms. Not many coaches can do that after the long tenure that he has had,” stated Berkowitz.
“Everybody is happy for him,” Berkowitz said.
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