Gary Moeller resigned as Michigan football coach today, six
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Gary Moeller resigned as Michigan football coach today, six days after he was arrested on charges stemming from a drunken outburst.
Moeller will remain on the university payroll while he takes a leave of absence. Athletic director Joe Roberson said Moeller is entitled to a year of leave with his full $130,000 salary, but it was uncertain if the leave would last that long.
In a statement read by Roberson, Moeller called the drinking incident an embarrassment but denied that he had a problem with alcohol.
``I consider myself a dedicated football coach,″ Moeller, 54, said in the statement. ``I am proud of my career and what I have accomplished in Michigan. I still have my family and dignity.″
Roberson said the search for a new coach would begin immediately. Defensive coordinator Lloyd Carr will remain interim coach, a title he assumed Monday after Moeller was suspended.
Moeller, who compiled a 44-13-3 record in five seasons at Michigan, was arrested Friday on disorderly conduct and assault and battery charges after he was accused of causing a drunken disturbance at a suburban Detroit restaurant and punching a police officer.
He faces a May 12 appearance in Southfield District Court.
Roberson said the incident hurt the reputation of Michigan and its football program.
``It’s a devastating kind of a thing,″ he said. ``I’m sure it’s part of what Gary considered as he had to make a decision. I don’t think the image is tarnished to the point of no return.″
Michigan went 8-4 last season, including a Holiday Bowl victory over Colorado State.
According to a police tape, Moeller begged police officers to free him while being examined at a hospital for suspected alcohol poisoning.
``I don’t want my kids to see me that way,″ Moeller said repeatedly on the tape, which Southfield police released Wednesday.
Police taped Moeller at Providence Hospital, where he was taken after his arrest. The Oakland County Jail told officers to take Moeller to the hospital because of his heavy intoxication.
In the tape, Moeller speaks of his love for his children and for his football players.
``No, I don’t want any mercy, I don’t want that,″ he told officers. ``You won’t going to let me go? I understand why you can’t let me go. And I understand. ... Do you know how embarrassing this is? ... I want to keep this ... thing from my kids.″