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San Diego’s Dale Lindsey to Retire

Lindsey will retire as the winningest coach in Torero history.

NCAA Football: San Diego at San Diego State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in over a decade San Diego’s football program will be coached by someone other than Dale Lindsey. University of San Diego Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Athletics Bill McGillis announced earlier this week that Lindsey, 80, will call it a career and what a career it was.

Lindsey was brought in in 2013 to lead the Toreros and, during his time at USD, guided the team to an overall 80-30 record as well as seven Pioneer Football League titles. The Toreros also qualified for the FCS playoffs five times under Lindsey’s tutelage and only lost nine total conference games in the ten years he served as their head coach.

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“The numbers speak for themselves,” said McGillis on Tuesday. “but they don’t even begin to tell the story of the impact he’s made at USD... Beyond the extraordinary level of championship success our program has achieved under his leadership, Coach Lindsey established a standard of excellence for the young men in our program, and the lessons they’ve learned from him will last a lifetime.”

His coaching timeline ranges from the high school level all the way up to the NFL. Lindsey who, at 80, was the oldest coach in Division I football and will exit having over 50 total years of coaching experience. While in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers as a defensive coordinator and assistant, Lindsey led the team to three playoff appearances and a trip to Super Bowl XXIX in 1994.

Before he was a coach, Lindsey played linebacker for Western Kentucky. Following his college days, he was selected in the seventh round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

For all he did at the other levels, though, his impact at USD cannot be overstated. The Toreros were one of the most dominant FCS teams of the 2010s thanks to Lindsey. With him at the helm, USD ranked fourth best in the subdivision in terms of winning percentage (72.7%) and put together six nine-win seasons. The program also won two playoff games under Lindsey, the only two postseason victories the team has since moving to the subdivision in 1993.

San Diego has not announced who will be Lindsey’s successor but the Toreros will begin a new era when they kick off their 2023 season against Cal Poly on September 2.