Todd Turner called a gathering of UW coaches Tuesday morning to let them know that he was stepping down as athletic director.
Football coach Tyrone Willingham was on the road, and received the word in a call. Turner said Willingham was "surprised," but no other public comment has come from Willingham.
However, here are some comments from a couple of other UW coaches:
Men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar:
Todd, for me personally I felt was a very good leader, a very good mentor to me. Sometimes as your boss, they may not be a mentor – they're just a boss. But he was a boss and mentor. I thought during his time here he did an excellent job of helping the University of Washington and its athletics department. I do understand that tough decisions have to be made at times. I'm always going to be a fan of Todd Turner and his family.
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Romar on the reaction when the coaches were informed:
I'd say one of disappointment. Sometimes there could be a situation where it's announced and no one says anything and then after about 10 seconds: 'The wicked witch is dead!' That was not the case today. It was disappointment. Todd's done a good job and he's a likeable persona and a capable leader. We've always felt like he came along side of us and asked how he could help us be better in what we do and you can always appreciate that.
Romar on getting a new boss:
Whenever anyone is faced with the unknown you're just not sure what to think. But it also depends on the type of confidence you have in your leadership, and I have all the confidence in the world in President Emmert and although it is disappointing, I feel that whatever decision is made in the future will be one that is in the best interest of this university and this athletic department, and it will be one that is well thought out and it will be one that later on we will be pleased with.
JIM MCLAUGHLIN, UW volleyball coach:
He supported us, so it's time to support him. Initially that's the most important thing you do.
In terms of volleyball, Todd helped us, he supported us, and I'm going to support him right now and help him get through it if he needs my help. I don't know if it affects us. We know what we're doing and we've got things in place and we're going to go about business as we're supposed to go about it. But you lose a friend in the thing, and that's the important thing.
Because of him we could work our tails off. He wasn't in my office every day, he was letting me work hard and letting the staff work hard and then he would come in my by and ask 'What can I do?'