WATCH: College football coach calls timeout, retires and walks to his car after 45 seasons

It is a common dream among men and women to be able to leave their chosen profession on their terms. Those who share that dream gaze in envy at Denny Douds, the college football coach who announced his retirement on the field during a game in the final moments of Saturday’s Senior Day game for Division II East Stroudsburg in Pennsylvania. 

According to the broadcast of the game, there had been some whispers around the program that Douds was set to retire at the end of the season, wrapping a 53-year run with the program, the final 45 of which he was the head coach. Still, there was confusion on the field as East Stroudsburg called timeout — a timeout the team did not have available — in the final seconds of the game, trailing Old Dominican 48-35. 

“I nudged the official in front of me and I said, ‘Sir, we are going to call a fourth timeout. I know that is illegal, you’re going to penalize it, but that’s OK. I am retiring.’ I called timeout with 4 seconds to go, blew the whistle, the kids came in and I told them this is what we are doing,” Douds said after the game, via WNEP.

The penalty ended in a run-off, and the game was called. After congregating with his team, Douds went to shake the hand of the Old Dominican coach, tipped his hat to the crowd and then walked off the field by himself while the team was going through the handshake line. Douds said he kept his plan for the announcement a secret, only letting his wife in on the scheme prior to the game. 

“I told my wife, ‘When I leave the stadium, I am going to tip my hat and say, ‘I love ya.” I tipped my hat, walked to the car, and smiled all the way home,” Douds said.

East Stroudsburg still has two more road games left this season, and associate coach Jimmy Terwillger will act as interim coach. 

Dodds in the all-time leader in DII football for games coached (471), which is seventh overall in college football history. His 264 career wins, all at East Stroudsburg, are a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record and 16th all-time in college football history. 

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