It’s never a happy thing to see a head coach step down due to health reasons, but it’s especially disheartening to see a longtime assistant walk away from the job he waited 54 years to get.
Stubbs worked as a graduate assistant under LaVell Edwards at BYU in the Cougars’ mid-1980s heyday, and accepted his first full-time assistant job at Oregon State in 1985. He continually climbed and waited until finally getting his first head coaching job at Nicholls State on Jan. 5, 2010, two and a half decades after his coaching career began.
And Sunday, at age 58, Stubbs stepped down due to unspecified “major health reasons.” The news has been announced by the school, and was first reported by Mike Detillier of WWL in New Orleans.
“For more than four years I have given my best effort to create the climate of change needed to support a winning football program here at Nicholls,” Stubbs said in a statement. “During the past year I have been diagnosed with major health issues, and I know that now is the time to step aside and focus my efforts on my health.”
Stubbs was 10-38 in four-and-a-quarter seasons at Nicholls State, and the Colonels were off to an 0-3 start to 2014 after falling 27-10 to Division II Henderson State (Ark.) on Saturday. The high point of Stubbs’ tenure had to be the 27-23 win at Western Michigan on Sept. 7, 2013, the school’s third victory over an FBS opponent.
“In many ways, he has advanced our program in terms of the academic success of our students and the overall accountability,” athletics director Rob Bernardi said. “For that, we are very grateful. We wish him and his family the best.”
Stubbs is the second Division I head coach to step down this week, following the resignation of SMU head coach June Jones on Monday.
Associate head coach/special teams coordinator/running backs coach Chuck Hepola will assume interim head coaching duties. Stubbs’ resignation means the Colonels also lose their offensive coordinator; the school has not released word on who will slide into that role.
Nicholls State travels to North Texas on Saturday.