Treadwell fired, Bath promoted
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 14:10
Correction: We have updated this story with a now correct accounting of the buyout for Treadwell's contract.
For the first time in the school’s history, Miami University has fired a football head coach during the season. Athletic director David Sayler fired Don Treadwell after a 0-5 start to Treadwell’s third season at his alma mater. Quarterbacks coach Mike Bath was named interim coach for the rest of the season.
The RedHawks lost their last 10 games under Treadwell, who went 8-21 during his tenure at Miami.
Sayler said he was concerned with some of the game planning, results and recruiting, but the decision to let go of Treadwell came down to the best interests of the football players.
“I just think, obviously, the statistics bear out where we were and some things on the offensive side of the ball and defensive side of the ball that I thought we needed to get fixed,” Sayler said. “When I looked at our kids, I just saw kind of a hopeless feeling. We were all frustrated, everybody was, Don was too. But we didn’t seem to have a plan to correct it, to fix it, that the kids believed in. That’s when I knew I had to step in, that was the tipping point ultimately.”
Sayler said he told Treadwell of his decision Sunday and Treadwell did not put up a fight for his job.
“He handled it unbelievably well, with class and integrity the way you would expect,” Sayler said. “Don is a great man, and he handled it as well as possibly it can be handled. I gained even more respect for him as man than I had going in.“
Treadwell’s buyout will cost the school, at most, $400,000. The $400,000 is paid out over the next 25 months. Any salary he earns from a new position would reduce the amount Miami owes. If Treadwell’s total yearly compensation meets or exceeds $300,000, Miami’s obligations would end.
Sayler said the buyout did not give him any pause in the decision, but said it’s time for Miami to get back to its winning ways.
“I think he’s appreciative of the opportunities he’s been given here at Miami, and he also knows that we have a pretty ambitious plan for fundraising and building facilities and to do that we need positive momentum … ” Sayler said. “Don is a good man and he did a lot for Miami, but we just need to get back and get that chip on our shoulder and get our program back to winning conference championships; it’s what we are about here.”
Offensive coordinator John Klacik was also fired. Klacik came to Miami following a stint as head coach at his alma mater, Lock Haven University. Klacik lost his last 32 games at Lock Haven, and, according to USA Today, he was the highest paid offensive coordinator in the Mid-American Conference.
Bath has been quarterbacks coach since 2011 and was a quarterback at Miami. He’s now the head coach at his alma mater and became emotional at times during his introductory press conference.
“I’m like every other football coaching alum or basketball coaching alum … we all want to be a head coach at Miami,” Bath said. “This is the cradle of coaches. That’s one of the reasons why I did get emotional at the beginning. Gosh, having played for Randy Walker who was an alum and Terry Hoeppner, who was basically an alum, who was here for 20 years, this is special. This is the cradle of coaches. It’s special to me. This is home.”
Sayler said he has faith in Bath as the interim head coach.
“We are fully behind Coach Bath,” Sayler said. “He has the full support of our administration, our staff. He is the head coach of this program for the rest of the year…”
Bath will remain quarterbacks coach and will also call the plays for the RedHawks. He declined to comment on potential offensive scheme changes, but did say Miami was going to start putting a product on the field to be proud of.
“These young men are going to fly around the football field, they’re going to be passionate,” Bath said. “They aren’t going to have a choice. We’re going to bring it out of them. I’m not going to guarantee any wins or losses on Saturdays. But I’ll tell you this, this is going to be a team that this University, the families of the young men, the fans, any alums out there; this is going to be a program that for the next seven weeks, one week at a time, that they’re going to be proud of.”