Holy Cross lost more than a football game in the Yale Bowl this weekend. Less than a day after Yale defeated the Crusaders 32-0, Coach Tom Gilmore, who had been at the helm in Worcester for 14 years, was abruptly fired.
The announcement was made Sunday morning in the form of a written statement from the school’s athletic director, Nate Pine. “These are never pleasant decisions, but ultimately I believe this is the best course of action for our student-athletes and for the success of our football program moving forward,” it stated.
The usual flowery words followed. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tom for his tireless efforts on behalf of our student-athletes and service to the college. Tom has been a mentor to our student-athletes and a positive presence in our campus community for his 14 years at Holy Cross.”
Nice words to hear on the way out the door!
To let a coach loose in the middle of a season, particularly on the college level, is extremely rare. This year’s team is now 2-5, after Yale held the Crusaders to a season low of 143 yards on offense. It was the team’s second loss in the state of Connecticut tihs year, having been edged by UConn in the season opener.
Saturday’s was the first game between Yale and Holy Cross in nine years, and the beginning of a five-year run. The Crusaders lost their fourth straight and suffered their first shutout since Sept. 18, 2004, at Harvard.
The Bulldogs controlled the HC quarterback Peter Pujals, a pro prospect, one week after a 509-yard passing performance in a loss to Monmouth. Against Yale his passes gained only 89 yards on 10-22.
After holding him down, Yale’s coach, Tony Reno, who ironically comes from Worcester, said he is “an exceptionally talented kid, probably one of the best we’ve seen this season and we’ve seen some good quarterbacks.”
Gilmore had a winning record in Patriot League
Gilmore was the coach for the Patriot League college since 2004, and his teams had an overall conference record of 41-39, but was 72-81 overall including a post-season appearance in 2008.
Offensive coordinator Brian Rock has been named interim head coach for the balance of the season.
High regard for Yale
In what became Gilmore’s final post-game press conference he said “It’s pretty obvious Yale is a very good football team. They played extremely well; we did not.
“It was a good day for Yale and a bad day for Holy Cross all around.”
It turned out to be an even worse day for Tom Gilmore.