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November 3, 2003
CONTACT: Ward Mullens

EMU Head Football Coach Jeff Woodruff relieved of duties; Lavan appointed interim

Lavan, Assistant Head Coach / Running Backs Coach, will coach the final three games

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Eastern Michigan University Head Football Coach Jeff Woodruff has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately, EMU Athletic Director Dave Diles announced today (Nov. 03). There are three games remaining on the 2003 EMU schedule, and EMU Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Al Lavan will handle the head coaching duties on an interim basis while a national search for a new coach is begun.

"We are relieving Jeff Woodruff of his head coaching duties, and Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Al Lavan will take over on an interim basis for the remainder of the 2003 season," Diles said. "As head coach, Jeff Woodruff has helped develop our program with quality young men, but the team is not on the competitive level that we felt we should be after four years."

"There is always a point in the rebuilding of a program that you believe things are moving in a positive direction competitively, and I just don't have a strong feeling that we are improving," Diles added. "We are extremely grateful for Jeff Woodruff's hard work and the way he represented our University. We have a group of outstanding young men in our football program who should provide a great foundation for the future."

"In naming Coach Lavan as the interim head coach, we have a veteran football coach from both the professional and college ranks, and I am confident that he will go a great job of keeping this team together for the remainder of the season as we begin an immediate search for a new head coach," Diles said.

The 2003 season is the fourth for Woodruff and the Eagles fell to 1-8 after a 38-10 loss at Central Michigan University Saturday, Nov. 1. Woodruff has a 9-34 overall record as EMU head coach, including a 3-8 record in 2000, a 2-9 mark in 2001, and a 3-9 record in 2002.

Jeff WoodruffAl Lavan

The EMU Athletics web site is here.
Further information about Coach Woodruff's career and Coach Lavan's experience is available in this PDF document.

Eastern Michigan University is a public comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor’s Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU’s Eastern Experts on-line at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts

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