Occidental College fires football coach in wake of recruiting investigation

May 10, 2012

Photo from Occidental College

Occidental College fired Dale Widolff as head football coach after a 30-year long career at the Eagle Rock college amid an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations, the second investigation involving Widolff in the past two years.

“We take violations of the rules very seriously and believe that, however difficult, we have done the right thing,” said Occidental College Athletic Director Jaime Hoffman in a statement issued today. “Our top priority is to ensure that the future of our student-athletes is not placed in jeopardy.”

Occidental will conduct a national search to find a successor for Widolff, who won 11 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and made seven post-season appearances. Offensive coordinator Eric Bergstrom will serve as acting head football coach until the search has concluded.

The college did not provide more details about the allegations, saying that the NCAA had asked Occidental officials not to disclose details pending the investigation, which began after the college athletic director contacted the NCAA on April 17.

The earlier investigation resulted in Widolff being suspended without pay in August 2010 for six weeks for violation of NCAA rules and internal college policies.

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