Monday, January 18, 2016
GIBSON GOES OUT GUNS ABLAZIN'
Gibson opened with a statement, and this is what he said:
"I'd like to thank Vianne Timmons, the President of the University, and Harold (Riemer, Dean of Kinesiology) for giving me this opportunity. It's a great opportunity. To be quite honest with you this was a very tough decision for myself and my family. I always tell the players this and I thoroughly believe it; this is their football team. It's not the head coach's football team. The head coach is just the one who has the responsibility of organizing things and making some tough decisions. That locker room will be just fine. I thoroughly believe that. There's a lot of great young men in there and a lot of people who will be leaders and are leaders and will be just fine.
"I know the question's going to be asked that a year ago I made the statement that I wouldn't like to move again and I'd like this to be my final move. At that time that was a very honest statement. But things change in a year. I think each and every one of you would agree with me in that regard. This has been a great opportunity, I've enjoyed every single minute of it, but in your lifetime some opportunities come along and you owe it to yourself and your family to make decisions that are best for them. That's what this was.
"I did not reach out to (the Eskimos). They came to me, and that's what I decided to do. Again I appreciate everything the university has done. This is a great university, a great organization, there's a lot of great people here. I mean great people. They'll be just fine without Mike Gibson."
From there things got a little testy, with reporters trying to pin Gibson down on why the Eskimos presented a better opportunity than being the head coach of a CIS football program (a perceived paycut).
"I just told you, I made this decision for my family," Gibson repeated. "I think this is a better decision for my family. You may disagree with me. I respect your opinion. I'm not getting into the specifics of what the offer is guys. That's really none of your business, okay? At the end of the day I have to decide if it's a better opportunity for my family and I decided it is."
Gibson's address to the media lasted over 12 minutes and frankly, he should be commended for facing the music that came with walking out on his commitment to the program. However at the end of the session, he delivered a final punch to the gut.
"Everybody said this would be tough," Gibson concluded. "This wasn't tough."
And with that, he exited the room.
Acting U of R Athletics Director Curtis Atkinson said an interim coach would likely be named and that the Rams Board was scheduled to meet Monday evening. The search for a full-time replacement begins immediately.
Rams President Dan Johnston said he's disappointed with Gibson's decision - above all because they lost a great coach - and said they'd hoped to have his services for "the long haul". Regarding compensation from the Edmonton Eskimos for plucking Gibson, Johnston said that process is being reviewed.