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The press conference announcing Coach Caldwell’s resignation is worthy a watch for all Commodore fans. The answers given by both Coach Caldwell and Vice Chancellor David Williams were frank, and it was obviously uncomfortable for both men. I’m sure Coach Caldwell would like to have more time, and I’m sure Vice Chancellor would have liked to have seen more progress. Unfortunately, neither was to be.
I think David Climer was right, Vanderbilt did the right thing by making this announcement prior to the game, as opposed to after it. Now, Coach Caldwell will get the “thank you” from the fans to which he is entitled. He inherited an incredibly difficult situation by taking over 7 weeks before the season began and did an admirable job. He never made excuses, either for the injuries that deleted his squad, or the hand he was dealt by being given the reins less than 2 months before the season was set to begin. Still, as Vice Chancellor Williams made clear, this decision was about the progress the program was making (or not making). After Vanderbilt’s 2008 Music City Bowl win, the team managed just 1 SEC win and no better than 5 wins (4 depending. What Coach Caldwell might have been able to do is, as he said “unknowable,” but the reality is this decision was not about him, but about the program and the direction it was going in. In the days ahead speculation will begin about who will replace Caldwell, and I’m sure the entire VSL Brain Trust (myself included) will weigh in with our views. In the meantime, Vanderbilt and Coach Caldwell have a game win before the season comes to a close. It would be a positive ending to an unfortunate season as both Robbie Caldwell and Vanderbilt look to move forward.