Current Issue

Dec.9, 2009

Vol. 110, No. 6


Hughes fired after 4–6 season

By Brett Tomlinson
Published in the December9, 2009, issue

The University fired head football coach Roger Hughes Nov. 22, less than 24 hours after the Tigers beat Dartmouth, 23–11, in their season finale. Hughes, the Princeton coach for 10 seasons, was 47–52 overall and won the Ivy League title in 2006.

In a release, Director of Athletics Gary Walters ’67 called Hughes a “fine ambassador of the football program” but said that the program needed a “fresh start.”

The Tigers were 4–6 overall and 3–4 in the league in each of the last three seasons. Princeton was .500 or better against four Ivy schools during Hughes’ tenure, but against rivals Yale, Harvard, and Penn, the coach had a combined 8–22 record.

This year’s losses included three blowouts against Ivy foes: 38–0 vs. Columbia, 37–3 at Harvard, and 42–7 at Penn. Two of the Tigers’ captains were sidelined for most of the season — All-Ivy tailback Jordan Culbreath ’10 was hospitalized with a rare blood disorder, and star linebacker Scott Britton ’10 tore a ligament in his knee — but the team managed to rebound, winning three of its last four games.

The University has started a national search for a Hughes’ successor, and according to the athletics department, the former coach might continue to work at Princeton in another capacity while he remains under contract.

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CURRENT ISSUE: Dec.9, 2009