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Candaele Retires As Football Coach

Rick Candaele has announced that he will retire as head football coach at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps effective August 15. Assistant Head Coach Steve Retzlaff will be the interim head coach for the 2010 season. Candaele joined the CMS staff in 1993 and took over as head coach in 1995.

Athletic Director Mike Sutton remarked “I’m thankful to Rick for turning the football program around and putting the Stags in a competitive position through increased participation, retention, and on field success. His ability to encourage our team to play hard and well for each other has been our key to success.”

Candaele came to CMS after eight years coaching at UC Santa Barbara including four years as head coach. In 15 seasons as CMS head coach, he coached five of CMS’ 14 winning seasons. The 2009 team finished 5-4 and won its third consecutive “rivalry game” with Pomona-Pitzer.
Candaele arrived when the football team was struggling to maintain participation and find success on the field. During his tenure he built up the team to the point of maintaining a roster of over 70 players with at least 15 senior players graduating in each of the last four seasons. The football team has been one of CMS’ most active on campus in community service; Christmas in April, and helping to host Special Olympics, International festival, and Relay for Life events are annual contributions led by Candaele and the Stag Football players. Many CMS football players have had the opportunity to travel internationally on summer trips led by Candaele – Argentina/Uruguay (’10), Australia (’06), Ireland (’02), Spain (’98), and Switzerland (’94). These trips were enjoyable, cultural exchanges where the team also conducted football instructional camps and competed in games with local club teams.

Retzlaff, who joined the CMS staff with Candaele in 1993, has served as both Offensive and Defensive Coordinator for the team and has been assistant head coach for the last several years. Sutton noted that Retzlaff will “provide great continuity for the football players and our program during this transition period.” There will be a national search for Candaele’s successor beginning after this season.