Report: Lubick negotiating departure from CSU after 15 years

DENVER -- Sonny Lubick, the winningest coach in Colorado
State University history and a man known for his graciousnous win
or lose, began negotiating his departure as Rams football coach on
Saturday, according to a published report.

The Denver Post said Lubick began telephone negotiations with athletic director Paul Kowalczyk.

Zak Gilbert, CSU sports spokesman, declined to confirm or deny
the report, which did not sit well with university boosters.

Lubick told the newspaper he didn't want to do anything that
would hurt the school's image. He remains popular, and there has
been no public call for his ouster from alumni.

"I love the school, the student body, everything. I had 15
years here so good I would not want to destroy or hurt anybody,"
he said. "These were the best 15 years for any coach, and for all
the coaches who worked with me."

Lubick, who coached the defense on national champion Miami
teams, had taken himself out of contention for the coaching
position when it opened there six years ago.

Issues to be worked out include his role at the university because
his contract includes a clause that would keep him on as a
fundraiser. He also wants to make sure his staff are treated well.

"Paul and Sonny talked today and committed to talk again
tomorrow," CSU senior associate athletic director Gary Ozzello
said Saturday night.

Saturday morning, during the taping of his weekly television
show on KUSA, Lubick said: "I think something will be resolved one
way or another within about two or three days. From my standpoint
there are no regrets about anything. I love these players." Last
week he spoke of his desire to begin recruiting for next year.

Lubick, 108-74 at CSU, has led the Rams to nine bowl games, and
won or tied for six conference championships.

Lubick's contract is estimated at $530,000 and has two years
remaining on it.

Graduate fans who spoke with the Fort Collins Coloradoan said
they would be angry if they learn Lubick was forced to leave on
anything other than his own terms.

"We spent the entire day talking to major supporters of the
program -- and I mean major CSU supporters _ and they all have the
same comment, that there is no way Sonny should be pushed out
unless it's under his terms," said Brian Soukup, a lifetime CSU
fan who played basketball for the Rams in the early 1970s. "If he
is being forced out, that's a travesty."

Rick Callan, a graduate and member of the Touchdown Club booster
group also was angry. "The damage this could do could potentially
derail the train," he said.