After a relatively quiet few days in San Antonio, a bomb shell was announced Friday afternoon that longtime Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will be retiring after Monday’s game with Texas.
Rumors began to swirl mid morning around the Alamo Bowl media hotel and then at approximately 1:30 local time, Oregon’s official twitter account released the news.
Aliotti, 59 years of age, has been with Oregon for 22 years during different stints.
Just three weeks ago when asked about his future plans, Aliotti told reporters the wanted to coach at Oregon for as long as the University and football program would have him.
But that sentiment changed sometime between then and when the Ducks convened in San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl.
“After coaching for 38 years, it is time for a new chapter in my life and Kathryn’s,” Aliotti said in a statement.
“Coaching is all I’ve ever known but it has been a labor of love and a fantastic ride.”
Aliotti, known for his candor with the press, explained his reason’s for stepping down in a statement published by Oregon’s official web site GoDucks.com
“I’ve coached in a lot of great games in my life but the things I’m going to miss the most are the great players and assistant coaches I have had a privilege to work with” explained Aliotti in the statement.
“There is never an ideal time to announce these decisions because I don’t want to take away from the attention on this final game or the focus from the players who are the ones who deserve all the credit for getting us to where we are today.”
Along with Aliotti’s comments, head coach Mark Helfrich also discussed what Aliotti has meant to the Oregon football program.
“Nick’s contributions to the football program at the University of Oregon cannot be overstated” said Helfrich.
“His dedication to the success of this program will certainly leave a lasting impression that is hard to measure. I want to thank him for his loyalty an efforts to help make Oregon football what it is today, and wish him and his wife Kathy a long and happy retirement.”
Aliotti is schedule to speak with the media on Friday afternoon. Video will be uploaded to Oregon Duck Football News once that press conference is completed.
“I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a great career and to step away from the game when I felt the time was right. Now is that time.”