Freitag’s statement

Former Indiana soccer coach Mike Freitag called a press conference today. Flanked by his assistant coaches Aleksey Korol and Phil Presser and his wife Renee, Freitag began crying as soon as he began reading his two-page prepared statement. “Sorry,” he said, “I cry at Hallmark commercials.”

Here’s a PDF copy of Mike Freitag’s comments.

Or you can listen to Freitag read the statement.


  1. I’m confused. We keep a football coach with a losing record and fire a soccer coach with a winning record. Go figure

  2. I’m really not sure how to react to this press release.

    Chris, did you bold the following text in the pdf or was that done by Freitag?

    I would like to go on record that I do not agree with my dismissal or that of my assistants. I am especially disturbed with the manner in which the evaluation of my program went down. The timing was truly unprofessional.

    Also, I found it interesting that Freitag later commented on how he would be willing to work with the administration with the new coaching staff.

    What was going on behind the scenes here that resulted in this bi-polar press release from Coach Freitag?

    This kind of reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George insults his boss and quits his real estate job only to then return the next day and act like nothing happened.

    It seems clearly that Freitag is taking a flame thrower to some members of IU’s administration. Particularly Glass. Then at the same time he offers the suggestion “Call Me.”

    That and quoting his exact collegiate coaching record was a bit much. Surprised he didn’t list the amount of All-Americans he coached as well.

    Plus what blows my mind is that he had time to read over this statement and then someone in his camp said “Yeah, it looks great, let’s go ahead and release it.” What the what?

    Thoughts on this whole weird, wild mess?

  3. PB,

    The PDF is simply a scan of the release given to us by Mike Freitag.

    My thoughts, quite frankly, are still germinating. I need to write a column for tomorrow’s paper.

    Mostly, I think it’s a situation that involves proud, successful men who have given much of their lives to one cause. And now there’s been a splintering. The pain — and the tortured, conflicting messages — were inevitable.

  4. Yes, agreed. More than half his life has been at IU. To end like this is sad. But, it’s interesting that he didn’t see this coming.

    The Chicago Blackhawks experienced something like this last year with the firing of Dennis Savard and this year with the reallocation of Dale Tallon as GM. Dale and Dennis are lifelong Blackhawks and the press here in Chicago commended them for putting pride aside for the sake of the organIzation. Amazingly enough Dennis is now a Blackhawk “Ambassador” and Dale is a “Senior” advisor for hockey operations.

    Both Dale and Dennis were ultimately fired by John McDonough (former Cubs exec) who didn’t have any history with the Chicago Blackhawks before coming over in 2007.

    I wonder who actually relayed the bad news to Freitag. Was it done carefully enough. Was it done by Yeagley or Glass?

    Not sure what angle you will take with your column tomorrow but maybe there are some “pride” similarities between Bob Knight and Mike Freitag (and let me make it clear that is where the similarities would end). Both had been with a program for a long period of time and both were instrumental in its years of peak success. It’s human nature to believe that based on that history one has earned the right to be treated a certain way.

    It’s not that dislike Freitag. I’m just confused on this whole matter. Looking forward to the column.


  5. glass was an a– in dealing with this situation. this is what you get with a cheerleading bimbo virgin ad. keep loser lynch but screw over fry. well done

  6. Man, I always leave one typo per post! It’s not that I dislike Freitag.

    I never would have made a good journalist.

  7. yawn,

    Can you elaborate on your claim that Glass handled the situation poorly? What supporting evidence do you have for that? To whom have you spoken? And what are you basing that statement on other than what you just read in Freitag’s statement (which is most likely slightly biased, since…ya know, HE’s the one who just got fired)?

    Comparing the football and soccer programs at IU is an “apples to oranges” issue.

    Here’s a quick breakdown: IU soccer wins championships. When a coach stops winning championships, stops winning Big Ten titles, and stops advancing far into the tournament consistently, it’s expected and justified to find someone who can do those things.

    IU football, on the other hand, is traditionally bad. Firing a coach because he hasn’t won championships, recruited 5-stars and captured Big Ten titles in only two years as head coach would be unreasonable. You may not like Lynch, and that’s certainly fine, but to compare these situations and say Freitag shouldn’t be fired unless we fire Lynch too is just ridiculous. Lynch has been here for much less time, and has a FAR greater task ahead of him than what Freitag inherited.

  8. I understand that it’s difficult to lose a great job, but the record speaks for itself. We aim for National championships not sweet sixteens.

  9. Casey – Lynch has been here for 3 years, plus a few more under Hep.

    The reason we didn’t fire Lynch, but did so for Freitag, is because Glass couldn’t find his Sports Illustrated college soccer issue (there isn’t one). Left without his key policy-guiding tool, he had to flip a coin. Tails, you lose, Freitag.

  10. its fine he was let go, but to be embarassed the way he was by glass is cowardly. its been reported that he talked to players at a poorly chosen time, slapped him around in the ids with that “interview”, underhanded insults, etc, etc. as for lynch, it does matter, because even if you think we are destined for football hell forever, lynch offers zero hope. that is what hep could do, even if our w and l’s still blew. lynch sucks, yet glass keeps his buddy around. hes not even a true IU hoosier like Fry was.

  11. Interesting. I do not know the specifics about how he was dismissed and purported differences with Yeagley. However, bi-polar is the right description of this press conference. If you feel as strongly as you state,and want the players, fans, and the program to move forward, don’t make this statement public. This only makes Freitag look like he wanted to inflict some damage before he left (any potential coaches and recruits feeling better about coming to the IU Soccer program?)If you have an issue with individuals who you feel wronged you and your staff, make your statements directly to those parties. If there is anything I have learned in these situations, it is take the high road and start looking for your next opportunity with dignity in tact.

  12. That’s some bittersweet stuff. I believed it was time for Mike to go (last year), but it’s tough to hear the pain in his voice, knowing how much he’s given to IU. And though I thoroughly support the product of the decision, the process is never pretty. (Note to Mike: airing out your grievances in the same letter in which you thank the administration & offer your support going forward is confusing at best, and plain effin garbled at worst. If you’re going to acknowledge that “now is not the time for emotion(s)”, keep the emotions out of the very message you’re delivering.)

    I’m curious to see where this leads next, and suspect clarity won’t come until the College Cup has concluded. I’m equally curious about the oft-referenced players & parents who, even Freitag describes as possibly offended, may have played a greater role in this issue than previously acknowledged. While you can bet Bill Armstrong’s IU degree that Jerry Yeagley was consulted in this decision, I’d love to know who else was bending Glass’ ear as he decided to pull the plug on Freitag.

    While no where near as large in its scope, this firing could equal that of Bob Knight’s termination in the resultant rift it produces within the IU soccer family & its supporters. Hopefully, the damage won’t be as widespread or as long-lived. There’s nothing worse than watching one of the most hallowed houses in sports tear itself apart from the inside. That is something Hoosiers have seen all too often lately, and we deserve far better. But, as we saw with Coach Knight’s dismissal, people who are extremely passionate about an issue will advocate to the bitter end, and often to the detriment of that which they care so much about, because they’re so personally invested in the outcome. I can only hope people take Mike’s words to heart as IU transitions into the next phase of its quest for the next star(s).

  13. what i dont understand is that freitag won a nat’l championship. was 1 game away from the college cup last year. when we blew a 2-0 lead in the final 15 minutes. and beat 2 ranked teams in the tournament this year!

  14. Soccer has become much more competitive in college the last ten years and that fact has shown up on Fry and IU. His embarrassment is in letting the program deteriorate through decreasing accomplishments during his time in charge. His statement should also be embarrassing because it is sending confusing signals. But he feels hurt and that is understandable.

  15. It’s all about the direction of the program.

    I think Freitag is upset about the timing. To be let go before the College Cup is over, before you really have time to wind things down, and really, before he had time to mentally separate himself from the season a little bit must have been tough. I’m with ChronicHoosier & PB here, I like the guy, but he had to know his job was in trouble after last year, and to have a couple of mediocre years followed up with an even worse year…. He had a killer schedule and won 9 games against top 40 competition, but they didn’t win any games against the top 10, it was just highly unusual for IU Soccer.

    A quick follow-up tho, to ChronicHoosier, I don’t think this will cause a massive rift- sure, maybe a small one, but the problems would’ve come if they’d fired Jerry Yeagley, not his successor. Even more than Bobby Knight, Yeagley’s name was synonymous with the program he coached. Freitag, not so much.

    I’m sorry Freitag his hurting, and I hope he lands on his feet soon, but just like Danny Dakich, sometimes even dedicated servants to the institution just aren’t the right fit.

  16. Juan Blanco-

    Spoke a little too soon there. Remember, Cincinnati is not Coached by a Bill Lynch. They made some second-half adjustments, and outscored Pitt 31-13 after halftime. I’m sure Jibreel will be proud.

  17. From what I understand, Yeagley is claling shots far beyond the soccer program. Rohleder, Dolson, Reynolds. Supposedly he’s become quite the puppeteer. And this comes from someone (both myself and my sources), who have the greatest admiration for Yeags.

  18. This just in….secretly obtained and exclusive image of Husky Tom watching the final seconds of Washington vs Texas Tech.

  19. Bobbie Sue,
    You usually make sense when you post. When you start using sources to add substance to your post what are you trying to prove? What strings would Yeagley be pulling with Mrs. Rohleder? Leave citing unquoted sources to true reporters (I don’t pay much attention to them either). There are plenty of rumors in this world caused and exacerbated by unnamed sources.

  20. The camera shots of Bobby in the rafters were classic..He seemed so invested in Patrick getting this one…You could see the emotion twisting at his very core…Jubilation and then supreme letdown when Singletary’s last second winning shot was waved off in regulation…For Texas Tech to keep their focus was quite impressive after such a huge bubble burst…Signature win against a top team like Washington. Some true validation of pride and a certain amount of retribution was going down in that arena…The energy was undeniable…Even the ESPN announcers alluded to the game having the feel of a winner-takes-all contest.

    Could there be anything worse than losing to Purdue in the NCAA tournament and then having my top ranked team going down in a heartbreaker to a Texas Tech team coached by Patrick Knight.. Of course it could be worse!!…It could be much worse..It could have been the Hoosiers.

    So obvious to flick off shoulder as feathery loss when no longer a sledgehammer of gloat for arms to wield.

  21. Chris,

    Read the column. Good stuff on such short notice. Neutral is the way to go on this subject. Interesting that Freitag bolded that text though. Will be following this story going forward.


  22. Boy, I am sure glad the Washington Husky football program doesn’t measure improvement in Glass and Lynch terms.

    After going 0-12 last year, the Huskies finished this season at 5-7, culminating with a TROUNCING of #22 Cal, 42-10. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there was no singing of the pathetic “at least we competed” song; this program, this team, figured out a way to hire an energizing young coach and beat 3 ranked teams on the way to falling one win short of a bowl with 4 conference wins.

    In it’s last game of the year, against a RANKED team, UW came out with guns blazing and gave their fans a tangible, real reason to be happy. While I am ecstatic, I have to say I am now even more disgusted by IU’s lackluster effort against Purdue in the Bucket game, getting into a 21-0 hole and then trying to sell the excuse of “hey, at least we competed” to the fans afterward.

    At least we competed. At least we competed. Let the ridiculousness of Lynch’s motto sink in (he printed an ad on the back page of the IDS with these words, I kid you not). I would rather that we didn’t compete at all in 1/3 of the games, if it meant a few more wins amongst the remaining games. In 2007, we didn’t compete in every game, and we went to a bowl.

  23. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there was no singing of the pathetic “at least we competed”

    These kids are extremely resilient, they battled, they competed and I’m so happy for our senior class. Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, Postgame Quotes, Dec. 5, 2009

  24. I’ve turned you into a real Huskies beat reporter and researcher, D.

    You for got the “at least” part of the equation. This is what you say when you compete, and you lose.

  25. Scoop prefers to talk about soccer… You prefer to always turn the discussion continually toward Husky sports or firing Lynch..the same way you did on Basketblog back in the day when we had a baksetball team “competing” for the Big 10 title..
    Yes, that’s how “pathetic” it’s become…That’s how out of touch we are with our Hoosier basketball roots…I guess that’s adding to my belief that we’ve made some serious decision making errors in our basketball program…We’re in the midst of our most competitive basketball games of the early season and we’re talking about coaching changes in kickball and Lynch quotes. This is depressing, gang…We’re in basketball season! I waited all freakin’ summer for great hoops chat and we’re talking soccer? And you’re wondering why I have nothing better to do than badger a Husky always bent on gloating about his true love?…I know, it’s pathetic!..I wish he could “at least” be a Badger fan…At least I could badger a Bo Ryan Badger instead of hound a stray Northwest sledDawg that made a wrong turn during the Iditarod.

    Sad, very sad day. Maybe we should just all follow along…Maybe we should all play hopscotch college…Let’s just change the name of this blog to Hoosier/Husky/Purdue Scoop…Be alright with me…Maybe I’ll take a painting class at IUPUI…I could cheer for the Boilers and the Hoosiers. I could cheer for Painter while I paint as he takes my Boilers deep into the tournament. Of course I will still forever praise Crean for the wonderful job he’s doing at our defunct dusty banner land of hoops begone.

  26. D, are you constipated? Many little kids get crabby when they are constipated and you are certainly crabby. I have an idea, why not find a new hobby. Your creative writing skills are lacking and you are not much of an IU fan either.

  27. Why don’t you find a Seattle blog site to drop your Husky excrement…Give daily creative testimonies on how you love them Hoosiers. It’s easy to not be constipated when you have two major openings to crap. Guess that’s why you never bite your tongue..might actually taste your words.

  28. Downing- You probably won’t believe this, but I am not the poster Millport. I thought your kickball post was funny enough and true enough for me to not need to respond. I guess the price one pays for using multiple pseudonyms is that occasionally he is taken for who he is not. Go Hoos…kies!!

  29. Except for added balance when walking, I really didn’t need the other testicle.

    My apologies, Tom….It sure sounded like your cannon fire.

Comments are closed.