Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Conley blaims Budget, Administration Change and AD changes for dismissal

COMMERCE — After five years and a record of 24-27, Winnsboro native Scotty Conley was released as head football coach at Texas A&M-Commerce University.

Conley, 60, blamed the change on a shift in administration. “The president who hired me (Dr. Keith McFarland) retired over the summer,” Conley said. “The new president doesn’t know me. I coached there five years and I served under four different athletic directors. I did not fit in with the plans they had.”

Conley said he did rank his five years at the university as a positive experience, despite his release on Dec. 1.

“I got to work with some good people,” Conley said. “We had some quality young men I was fortunate enough to coach. I also worked with some very good and talented young coaches.”

Conley added “Texas A&M Commerce has a lot of potential. But I did not think I was on a level playing field with the other teams in the conference due to the budget. Our lower budget made a great difference in what we wanted to do. It was a battle.”

The coach said he was not ready to retire and wanted to stay in college coaching or take a job in school administration.

“I have been in contact with lots of friends, I made over the years,” Conley said. “I have been coaching in college since 1980, this is what I know best. I won’t rule out any option.”

Conley said he has enjoyed his association with coaching, dating back to an early job coaching in Sulphur Springs on the seventh grade level.

“I think this is the profession I know the best. I will listen to offers and see what comes up. I’ve had a lot of support from friends and that helps,” Conley said.

In a prepared statement Texas A&M University-Commerce athletic director Carlton Cooper announced effective Dec, 1 that he has relieved head football coach Scotty Conley of his duties.

"We are thankful for Scotty and his contributions to our football program, but as an organization we have decided to go in a new direction for our football program," said Cooper.

In 2008, Conley and the Lions opened up the season with a No. 18 nationally ranked and finished second in the Lone Star Conference North Division. A&M-Commerce posted a 5-5 record and a 3-2 mark in the LSC North. The Lions also made a return appearance in the inaugural Harvey Martin Classic at the Cotton Bowl, posting a 27-15 win over East Central. In 2007, A&M-Commerce shared a LSC North Division title after posting a 5-6 overall mark and 3-2 in the LSC North. The Lions also made an appearance on national television in its season opener against Pittsburg State.

“Winning constantly is something we expect to do at A&M-Commerce and it has been a challenge for our institution before the arrival of Coach Conley. I thank Coach Conley and his entire staff for their effort and attitude in attempting to improve our program. We have not met our expectations for football,” said Cooper.

A national search for a new football coach will begin immediately....

For the rest of the story, go to the Sulphur Springs News Telegram


Anonymous said...

"The Lions also made a return appearance in the inaugural Harvey Martin Classic"....

How do you make a return appearance in an event taking place for the first time?

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out which of those (changes in the President or AD, and budget constraints)cause:

- brain dead offensive playcalling
- 200+ penalty yards in a game
- a dud offense
- a below .500 record over a 5 year period
- his entire team going on strike against him, etc.

How long did the guy think he could just float through things like that and still have the job?

I still dont get his confusion on the whole thing. It was totally obvious it needed to happen.

Anonymous said...

This was a do or die season for Coach Conley and a 5 and 5 season for a team ranked Nationally at the beginning of the year. Sorry it's time for a change. Yes things have improved on campus with all the construction and upgrades to academic and even some athletic facilities...but five years of sub .500 ball is enough. Welcome to the world of College Athletics. It's time to move forward..pass an athletic referendum that meets the needs of all students and athletes..and realize that a winning athletic program improves the quality of life for everyone on campus wide. Good Luck to Coach Conley...but Change is Now.

Anonymous said...

A source told me Conley felt he was on the hot seat for the past 2 seasons. Apparently he called the offense himself to try and save a sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

having worked in the department before as well as being a student there myself allowed me to see behine the scenes that most people don't know about. the athletic dept has serious problems and the money issue is right up there. it doesn't matter who they have come in and coach as the results will be the same with a limited number of scholarships. # of scholarships has a direct effect on the field in football where having less full scholarships makes a ton of difference. TAMUC should have never been ranked 18th as they didn't have that much talent. all you heard about at the start of the year is Mayo but he was a total flop. I would be shocked if cooper hires anyone other than a minority with SMU ties...

Anonymous said...

Bring back Eddie Vowell. Don't those 3 DII playoff appearances in 90's look good now?

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