LSU football coach Mike Archer resigns

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana State football coach Mike Archer said Thursday he will resign after the final game of the season Nov. 24 against Tulane, ending speculation he would be fired.

Archer, whose team is 4-5 in the current season, said he made the decision about 3 a.m. Thursday morning and was not pressured to quit.


'I must emphasize I was under no political pressure to resign,' Archer told a news conference. 'This is a decision that has been reached today between myself, my family, the chancellor and the athletic director.'

The announcement came a day after two Baton Rouge television stations reported they had learned Archer would be fired after the Tulane game.

Chancellor William Davisand Athletic Director Joe Dean denied a decision had been made and said the reports forced the issue.

'The reporting of rumors as absolute fact by some news media has created a series of circumstances in which Coach Archer feels he can no longer be effective as head coach and perform his duties as leader of the LSU football program,' Davis said.

Both he and Dean issued statements saying they regretted the fact Archer was leaving, and reiterated previous statements they had made no decision to fire him. They said their evaluations of Archer and the football program would not have been made until the end of the season.


Archer, in his fourth season after succeeding Bill Arnsparger, sounded resigned to his fate on a radio talk show Wednesday night. During the show he related how LSU Sports Information Director Herb Vincent told him during practice a television station was going to report he would be fired.

The report said the decision to fire Archer was made after LSU's 24-3 loss to Alabama.

Archer said he was not contacted about the report by Dean, who had steadfastly denied a decision already had been made to fire him.

'It doesn't make you feel very good. It doesn't make you feel like you're appreciated, but I guess that's the way we do things around here, ' Archer said on the air. 'I told our football theam that their big thing is that if I'm the coach, fine, if not, they've got to go on and play Mississippi State and Tulane and win for themselves and for LSU. It doesn't make it any easier, but sometimes those things happen in sports.'

Archer, 38, has compiled a 26-17-1 record at LSU. He was the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I-A play when he took over the team from Arnsparger.


LSU football has steadily declined under Archer, dropping from the Southeastern Conference championship and a 9-3 record in Arnsparger's last season in 1986 to a 4-7 mark last year. The Tigers currently are 4- 5.

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