Monroe, LA (Daily Advertiser) - UL Athletic Director David Walker
informed football coach Rickey Bustle on Friday that
he would not return for the final year of his
contract, a source with knowledge of the situation
told The Daily Advertiser.
The source requested anonymity because the
university plans to make the official announcement
during a press conference at noon Monday. UL
Sports Information Director Daryl Cetnar confirmed
there will be a press conference at that time but did
not specify the reason for it.
Walker planned to tell Bustle of the move Monday
after meeting with university president E. Joseph
Savoie on Sunday, the source said, but that time
table was moved up so he could inform his assistant
coaches about the decision.
Two other sources, who also requested anonymity,
said Bustle informed his assistants of the move
Friday night before telling his players after UL's 23-
22 season-finale win Saturday over ULM. Bustle
posted a 41-65 overall record in nine years with the
Cajuns, including a 3-9 mark this year.
"I'm going to go and talk to the football team now,"
Bustle said immediately after the game. "And we'll
see (what happens)."
Bustle declined further comment Saturday night after
speaking with his players and coaches.
Previously the long-time offensive coordinator at
Virginia Tech, Bustle arrived at UL prior to the 2002
season after coach Jerry Baldwin went 6-27 from
1999-2001. Bustle clinched a share of the 2005 Sun
Belt title after going 6-5 and also won six games in
'06, '08 and '09 but never earned a bowl bid.
Last December, he received a one-year contract
extension through the end of the 2011 season, but
his buyout was more than cut in half to $100,000. A
losing record this season convinced UL's
administrators it was time to cut ties with Bustle.
Former Cajun quarterback Michael Desormeaux,
now an assistant football coach at Catholic High of
New Iberia, spoke about that development on his
way back to Lafayette on Saturday night.
"I'm very sorry for coach Bustle," said Desormeaux,
whose younger brother, Matt, was a senior fullback
for the Cajuns this season. "I think he did a great
job of advancing our program from where it was,
and I am certain he will land on his feet. He is a
great person and someone I consider to be a friend,
so I truly feel for him and his family. Unfortunately,
this is an ugly part of the business."
Immediately following Saturday's game, various
Cajun players said they did not know what would
happen to Bustle and their coaches.
"I'm not going to say anything about the coaching
situation because that's not my concern," said
redshirt freshman safety Cooper Gerami. "I'm a
player, and I'm here to play. I will say this: These
coaches here are great men. They've taught me great
things, and I'm never going to forget what they've
Amid the uncertainty, other players heaped praise
on their coaches before learning about the change
from Bustle himself.
"These coaches put their hearts in the game, and
they gave us everything that they had," said
sophomore defensive end Emeka Onyenekwu. "I love
our coaches. They've given us everything to try to
put us in the right situation."