Dan Dakich, seldom at a loss for words, had a difficult time explaining his resignation Tuesday as men's basketball coach at Bowling Green.
Speaking in short and often incomplete sentences, Dakich said his contract was up but insisted he wasn't fired. After 10 seasons at the Mid-American Conference school, he said it was time to move on, perhaps out of state.
"There were a lot of reasons," Dakich, an Andrean grad and former Indiana University standout, told The Times via phone on Tuesday. "I've been here a long time. People are great. People are actually awesome to me, but I just decided I wanted to be involved maybe at a different level.
"I want to stay in coaching. I want to stay in college coaching."
Dakich was named Bowling Green coach on April 21, 1997 after serving as Bob Knight's first assistant for 12 seasons at Indiana.
During that stretch, the Hoosiers won a national title (1987), four Big Ten championships, placed third or higher in conference standings nine of the 12 years, and received 12 NCAA tournament bids.
Dakich had a 156-140 overall record at Bowling Green, including four 18-plus win seasons.
"This has been a great time for me and my family, a great place," Dakich said. "The AD (Greg Christopher) and I talked and this is kinda what we did. It never really got to all that other stuff."
Did Christopher say it was time for a change?
"You'll have to talk to him about that," Dakich said.
"You overcome a lot of things here, but it taught me that we can really coach," the 44-year-old Dakich said. "We had more injuries than any team here. I think seven of my 10 years, we lost our leading scorer to an injury and we end up with the second-highest winning percentage and third all-time wins in school history in spite of that.
"Our league struggles a little bit (for recognition). We just had a 26-win team, Akron, that didn't make the NCAA tournament. They didn't even make the NIT."
Dakich said coaching Andrean grad and all-American Len Matela, winning the 2000 MAC championship, beating Michigan at home, and watching all of his four-year players graduate were among his biggest thrills.
"It's time to get involved somewhere else," he said. "Time to roll."
Christopher was not available for comment, but in a news release issued by the school, he thanked Dakich for his 10 years of service.