FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Sarkis 'Sark' Arslanian, fired this week as Colorado State University head football coach, says his record wasn't that bad, considering the caliber of the Rams' competition.
'I am leaving here with a 46-46-4 record,' Arslanian said Wednesday, one day after he was relieved of his duties and told that his contract would not be renewed.
'Twenty of the losses were from teams like Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Florida State, Houston, Iowa State and many other national powers that we have had to compete against,' Arslanian said. 'We also have beaten some of those schools.'
Arslanian pointed out that he took a program that was in shambles (1-10 in 1972 under former coach Jerry Wampfler) and 'within four years had the best record in the history of CSU with a 9-2-1 season and an 18th national ranking.'
Despite the Rams' 0-6 1981 start, Arslanian said he hoped he had taught his squad 'well enough that none of them will quit, but will strive to win all the rest of the games on the schedule.
'I feel fortunate in always having an excellent staff and players who have helped me attain the rank as the 14th winningest coach in America,' he said. 'But more important to me than all the wins is the fact that over the past 17 years, over 75 percent of my players have attained their college degrees or are still in school working toward it.'
Dr. Ralph E. Christoffersen, CSU president, said defensive coordinator Chester Caddas, former head coach at University of the Pacific, would serve as interim head coach. Christoffersen said he hoped to name a replacement for Arslanian by mid-December.
Arslanian joined CSU in 1973 and led the Rams to a 5-6 mark that season, followed by 6-5 records in 1975 and 1976. In 1977, CSU finished third in the Western Athletic Conference, and wound up second to Brigham Young last season at 5-1-1.
Arslanian coached at Salt Lake City Central Junior High, Union High in Roosevelt, Utah, Dixie Junior College and Utah State before moving to Weber State as head coach in 1965. He was Weber State's winningest coach, putting together a 50-26-2 record and leading his teams to Big Sky Conference titles in 1965 and 1968.
'CSU is an excellent academic institution and certainly deserves the very best in athletics,' he said. 'I feel I have played by the rules, recruited by the rules and hope that all the young men affiliated with CSU will remember the rules of life as they go on into different fields.'