Carl Pelini resigns at Florida Atlantic

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday October 30, 2013


Florida Atlantic head coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator / defensive backs coach Pete Rekstis have resigned, effective immediately.

The two were at a social event and used illegal drugs, according to athletic director Pat Chun, who learned about it on Monday. After he confronted them about the reports, the two tendered their resignations. Offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Brian Wright will be the interim head coach, and linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt will be defensive coordinator. A search for the next head coach has begun.

“I apologize for exercising poor judgment," Pelini said in a statement. "My greatest concerns at this time are for me family, the dedicated FAU players and my staff. I am confident that Pat Chun and the University administration will continue to move the program forward.”

Chun told ESPN Radio the investigation is still ongoing, but the information he has tells him this was an isolated incident. Chun said Pelini could not say goodbye to the team. "He was to collect his things and be on his way."

The two were escorted from the football offices by police, but no arrests were made. CoachingSearch.com first reported the resignation of Retskis.

READ: Pat Chun: 'I know we will have great candidates for this job.'

Pelini was 5-15 in two seasons at FAU, including 2-6 in 2013. It was his first head-coaching job. He previously spent three seasons at Nebraska with his brother Bo as defensive coordinator / defensive line coach.

The 2-6 Owls host 6-2 Tulane on Saturday.

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Chun released a statement on the matter.

"It is with profound disappointment and sadness that I announce the resignation of Florida Atlantic University Head Football Coach Carl Pelini and Defensive Coordinator Pete Rekstis. They tendered their resignations to me late this morning after I confronted both coaches with reports relating to their use of illegal drugs.

"On Monday, I was made aware of these concerns and I immediately reported the allegations to our General Counsel. The University acted quickly and decisively to follow up and take action that is in the best interests of our student-athletes and the University overall. I can assure you that we have no information that suggests anyone other than these two individuals engaged in these activities.

"I am personally very saddened for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. I just met with the players a few moments ago and notified them of the news. As you could imagine, the reaction was shock, dismay and disbelief. What I do know is that the FAU football team is a resilient group of young men and they will work through this, and learn and grow from this experience. It is a heartbreaking day for us all.

"I'd like to emphasize that nothing takes a higher priority than the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes. We will work to ensure that any student-athletes' questions and concerns are addressed. And let me reiterate, we have no information indicating any student-athletes were involved in any illegal activities.

"Offensive Coordinator Brian Wright will serve as interim head coach, effective immediately. I have great confidence in his abilities to lead this football program. When I asked Brian to take this role he accepted it without hesitation. He is surrounded by eight assistant coaches that are 100 percent committed to our program and student-athletes."

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Chris Vannini is in his third year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for The Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris lives in the Metro Detroit area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.