An emotional Jon Embree: 6 of my assistants offered to resign

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday November 26, 2012

Posted by: Chris Vannini on November 26, 2012

Jon Embree left the job at Colorado the same way he took it: with passion.

A tearful, sad and sometimes angry Embree was very emotional at his farewell press conference on Monday.

It started with a message to the players, one of whom yelled out that he loved Embree from the back of the room.

"I did things the right way," Embree said. "I don't care what they say, what anyone says. We had the highest GPA the last three semesters here this school has ever had in the football program. We stay out of trouble. You guys represented yourselves well and all the guys who played before you and come after you. You set a legacy and a standard. As I told you guys when we're going through tough times, you're not judged by the scoreboard at the end of the day. I was, but you won't be.

"Don't let someone else define you by what they think is right or how they think things are supposed to be. You know how it's supposed to be done, and you understand what the standards are and the expectations are and you always hold yourself accountable to it."

The Buffaloes went 4-21 in two years under the former Colorado tight end Embree, including a 1-11 mark this season. But Embree was defiant to the end that he was not going to take shortcuts or cheat.

"If I had done it different, it wouldn't have been the right way," he said. "I was brought here to build something. I have one-and-a-half recruiting classes, so to speak. I think they've all represented themselves well. The players who have stayed have represented themselves well. ... I'm not going to do it any other way but the right way. That takes time. I'm disappointed with the results, too, on the scoreboard, but everything else that has been done here, they're better. From how we treat the players to the academics, all that stuff is better than it was when I got here. The results show for it off the field."

Embree said six assistant coaches offered to resign so that he could keep steering the ship, and denied there was any conflict among them.

He certainly took over a tough situation in Boulder, but Embree fully believed things were done the right way during the two years he had his dream job, and he may have won over a lot of people who watched his final press conference.

"You can try to do things the right way, or you can through caution into the wind and do whatever it is you have to do to win," he said. Be it from admissions, be it from what you do and give to your players, from facilities. If you want to get in that game, then you've got to get in it. You can't have one foot in that game and one foot trying to build it and do something a certain way. It doesn't work that way. Some schools have inherited advantages. Everybody knows that. Texas, Ohio State. It is what it is.

The rest of us, you have to decide what you want to do. There's a reason why college football is cyclical. There's a reason why, five years ago, seven of the teams in the top 10 weren't there. Five years from now, they probably won't be there either. If you want to be there consistently, you have to change a lot of things."


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Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to

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