DENVER (CBS4) – George Gwozdecky channeled his inner Richard Nixon as he left the University of Denver on Tuesday.
The DU Pioneers hockey coach said goodbye after 19 years and 2 national titles.
Gwozdecky said he was shocked when he walked into a meeting on Monday and was fired.
DU officials haven’t spoken publicly yet but its believed the failure of the Pioneers in recent years in postseason play is one reason they are making a change. There may have also been a disagreement over how much money the coach should make.
The bottom line is “Gwoz” is out, but he said he will be back as a coach somewhere else.
“I’m not done coaching,” Gwozdecky said. “I’ve spent the last 34 years coaching, mentoring, teaching young people to assist them in developing a more mature attitude towards life. I’m excited to explore the many avenues that may be available to me. I repeat: I’m not done coaching.”
Many people, including many of his players and former players, have reacted angrily to Gwozdecky’s firing, and there has been a great deal of emotion from other coaches as well.
DU’s Lacrosse coach Bill Tierney teared up when he talked with reporters after Gwozdecky did. He read a prepared statement about Gwozdecky.
“I wanted to emulate your success at DU. I was always happy to ride behind you as you drove the machine. Your insight, your class, your drive and your ability to relate with your players by being tough but loving is admired by this guy more than you’ll ever know,” Tierney said.