Tom Amstutz is a good man.
I know because I was able to spend some time with him at the Fiesta Bowl six years ago. His running back William Bratton was being honored there as winner of the Football Writers Association of America's Courage Award. Bratton continued to play despite a sickle cell disorder that left him tremendous pain.
I prefer to remember the Tom Amstutz who won at least nine games in four of his first give seasons at Toledo, not the coach who has won 12 games the past three seasons. Things happen. In its own way, the MAC is a brutally competitive conference. There was a gambling scandal (never implicating Amstutz) a couple of years ago. As recently as 2006, Toledo beat Kansas with many of the same Jayhawks who would play in the Orange Bowl the next season.
Amstutz has found work. He reportedly will be reassigned to the alumni relations department after stepping at the end of the season. That's what a classy university does when it lets go of a coach. This might be nothing more than a soft landing spot for Amstutz before he finds another coaching job. Toledo owes him that much. He is outgoing, known as the coach who constantly wears a whistle around his neck -- even during games.
Toledo will find a good coach too. Its football tradition runs too deep. The MAC is as wide open as a conference as there is. I wonder about Bratton, though, these days. Since he was in school the national trainers' assocation has issued guidelines for players with sickle-cell.
Because apparently Central Florida didn't follow those guidelines, the program is in big trouble as it is being sued by the parents of a player who died last season.