As we first reported Thursday night, Mike Sanford is leaving the Sycamores for Western Kentucky.
Indiana State Director of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales announced today (Dec. 16) that Mike Sanford has resigned from his position as head coach of the Sycamore Football program.
“I want to thank Mike Sanford for his service to Indiana State University and our football program,” Clinkscales said. “After careful thought, Coach Sanford has made the decision to resign for personal and family reasons while pursuing a special career opportunity. I wish Coach Sanford and his family all the best in the future.”
Sanford leaves the Sycamores after recently completing his fourth season at the helm of the program. The Sycamores returned to the NCAA FCS Playoffs in 2014 under the direction of Sanford – their first trip to the postseason since 1984. Indiana State’s 36-16 win at Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 29, 2014 was the first NCAA FCS Playoff victory for the Sycamores since 1983.
“I leave Indiana State with tremendous memories and great feelings,” Sanford said. “Here, we accomplished something special – going to the FCS Playoffs for the first time in 30 years – which will always be a great accomplishment for our staff and the student-athletes in the program. It is tough to leave this area where Melinda and I have made many great friends. I want to thank Dr. Dan Bradley, Ron Prettyman and Sherard Clinkscales for their leadership and support during my time here at ISU.”
Sanford was named the American Football Coaches Association Region Coach of the Year following the Sycamores’ postseason run. The 2014 season proved to be the Sycamores’ winningest in four years under Sanford’s leadership as Indiana State tallied eight victories.
“This is an exciting time for the Sanfords,” Sanford said. “The timing is right to pursue a special opportunity for me and my family.”
Under the direction of Coach Sanford, the Sycamores had 25 student-athletes named to either the first team, second team or honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Football Conference teams. He also had 14 Sycamores named to the MVFC All-Academic team and 10 more who earned All-MVFC Newcomer Team status. The Sycamores downed a total of seven nationally-ranked teams under Sanford’s watch and spent a total of 20 weeks as a ranked team themselves.
A national search is underway for a new head football coach. Brian Cabral will serve as the Sycamores’ interim head coach during the search.