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Former Hofstra football coach Cohen hoped for extension day program was eliminated

By Max Sass, Assistant Sports Editor

In late November, rumors regarding the potential dismissal of the University's former head football coach Dave Cohen were flying wildly around campus and on internet message boards.

Early on the morning of December 3, Cohen was called to the office of Athletic Director Jack Hayes. Hayes' intentions were not to fire Cohen, but rather to inform him of the University's decision to eliminate the football program.

Cohen, who went 18–27 over 4 years as head coach, was looking to extend his contract with the university. "I had another 13 months on my contract," Cohen told The Chronicle in January.

Responding to rumors that he had prepared pages of notes as to why he did not deserve to be fired, Cohen explained that he did have typed notes, though they regarded why he thought he deserved the extension and why he thought the program was growing the right way. "We had the highest APR (Academic Progress Rate) on campus besides the golf team," he said, "and our team GPA was just over 2.7, which is higher than it had been."

"The meeting was about the decision to eliminate the program," said Hayes. "We didn't get into those other things. Had we, we certainly would be talking about the good things Dave Cohen had done."

Cohen did not get that extension and ended up with out a football program either. "For me it was a lot of growth. It was a growing experience for me," said Cohen of his time at Hofstra. "I think we were building something special and I think we were doing it the right way."

After the program was disbanded, Cohen was looking for a job and Bill Cubit, the head coach at Western Michigan offered him the defensive coordinator and linebacker's coach position. It took Cohen about a week to decide that he was going to pack up and move across the country to work in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

"I had a friendship with the head coach at WMU," said Cohen. He was impressed with the Bronco's football facilities, which he described as "phenomenal" and added, "Coach Cubit's success speaks for itself."

The only reason for hesitation by the Huntington-native was that the job was so far from home. "That was the only negative, but nothing is perfect in life."

Like their coach, many of the University's former football players left after the semester was over for a new school, as well. Cohen estimated that 44 out of 51 non–senior scholarship players left at mid–term. "I got a lot of texts when kids were moving into their new dorm rooms," said Cohen, "and like my experience it was bittersweet."

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