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Coast Guard head coach Bill George to retire

Coast Guard head football coach Bill George will retire after Saturday's season finale, the New London (Conn.) Day reported Tuesday.

George revealed the news to his team during a team meeting Tuesday morning.

George has been Coast Guard's head coach since 1999; at 21 seasons, he trails only Air Force's Fisher DeBerry among longest-tenured head coaches at a U.S. service academy. He has led the Bears to 75 wins with two division titles.

The Bears are 5-4 this season heading into their finale against their rival, the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

The United States Coast Guard Academy is located in New London, Conn. The academy hosts just over 1,000 cadets and competes in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference in Division III.

"If your goal is to coach Division III football, it's the most fabulous place in the world, bar none. Once I got here and was surrounded by these people, I thought it was the most fabulous place in the world," George told the paper.

"I'm not sad (to leave). I'm not sad. I'm not sad at all. Like Lou Gehrig's line, I'm the luckiest man on the face of the earth. For a chance to do this for one year ... I'm doing something beyond coaching football here. You really are touched by (the players) being officers (after they graduate). The inside of you is very touched.

"I think you learn more about people than you do about football."

A former Ithaca College center, George deposited a stint as a graduate assistant at Ohio State but always pictured himself returning to the Division III level.

"I had the Division I bug," he said. "I loved being at Ohio State; I was like a kid in a candy store. It was fabulous. But Division III is more people-oriented. (Division I) is a business. Division I has a dollar-sign amount."

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