BOULDER - During an emotional goodbye, the former coach of the CU's struggling football program spoke primarily to his players.
Although his team was 4-21 during his two years at Colorado, Jon Embree touted his off-the field successes. He emphasized the camaraderie of his players and said the team's GPA was the highest ever during the last three semesters.
"I did things the right way, I don't care what they say - what anyone says," he said.
The Buffaloes just completed the worst season in the 123-year history of the program. They finished 1-11 with their only win a 35-34 win at Washington State on Sept 23.
"We had great hope and great expectations when we hired John," said CU athletic director Mike Bohn.
"I'm disappointed with the scoreboard too, but everything else is better and the results show for it off the field," Embree said.
"You set a legacy and a standard," a tearful Embree said, publicly addressing his players. "You're not judged by the school board at the end of the day, I was but you won't be."
7Sports Director Lionel Bienvenu said CU must pay Embree $500,000 for his termination.
"If this decision were based upon passion for CU and dedication, there's no doubt that Jon would be coach for life. But it also has to be based on progress and results, which we did not see enough of this year," said CU Chancellor Philip DiStefano.
Asked if he will coach again, Embree replied, "That's what I am. I'm a coach."
"To my kids - the ones who carry my last name and the ones I coach - don't let anyone take nothing away from you," Embree said.
Embree hugged many of his players on his way out of the press conference.