Willingham firing a winning thing

As a product of the Notre Dame football program, I understand why the Irish fired Ty Willingham.

Originally Published: December 1, 2004
By Joe Theismann | ESPN Insider
Notre Dame was fortunate to have a man like Tyrone Willingham at the helm. He's a class act and a quality person. The young men who played for him have benefited from his leadership and example.

But in the world of sports and Notre Dame football, it boils down to winning. Unfortunately for Willingham, wins didn't come didn't often enough the past three years to save his job.

In Willingham's first year, the Irish won their first eight games. They finished 10-3, including a loss to N.C. State in the Gator Bowl. That tremendous season was built on defense and special teams, but the offense has always lagged behind.

Since his surprising first-year success, the offensive struggles haven't changed under Willingham. As a former quarterback, I've been disappointed with the offensive production of the Irish.

Joe Theismann

Football analyst
Former college and pro football star Joe Theismann has served as an analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Football since 1988. He also is frequently heard on ESPN Radio, regularly contributes to and has contributed to the NFL Draft.