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After the worst season in Canisius College football history, coach Chuck Williams is gone.

The veteran coach announced his resignation Thursday.

Although sources at Canisius say some pressure was building at the school for a change in the leadership because of the program's recent lack of success, Williams said, "It was totally my decision, a conclusion I arrived at."

"We talk to the kids about responsibility and accountability. I wrote in a letter (to the players) that I was responsible for our record this season. Basically, I feel that after 40 years of coaching, it's time to travel a little bit and spend some time with my wife."

Williams' record in five seasons at Canisius was 16-34, including a 1-10 mark this past season. The Griffs also went winless (0-7) in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

"I am proud of my five-year affiliation with Canisius College, Williams said.

Williams, who had been defensive coordinator, succeeded Barry Mynter as head coach at Canisius in 1995. In his first season, he led the team to a record of 4-6, 4-3 in the MAAC. The 1996 team won its first five games and lost the rest (5-5). A pair of 3-7 seasons preceded this year's debacle, which ended with a 68-12 loss at Duquesne. It was the most points ever allowed by Canisius.

Williams was laboring with some handicaps. Canisius puts less money into its football program than other MAAC schools, notably Fairfield, Georgetown and Duquesne.

Canisius athletic director Dan Starr, who is retiring after this college year, conceded that Williams faced some adversity.

"He was working in Division 1-AA with Division III financial aide to work with," Starr said. "Chuck is a wonderful person who is widely respected by his players. He did try hard."

Also, Williams was caught in a down cycle as far as talent. Until last year's freshman enrolled, more good players were graduating the program than were being recruited. The deficit finally hit home last fall when the Griffs had only 12 seniors on the roster.

Williams and his No. 1 assistant Jason Gall already had begun recruiting for 2000.

There is a no apparent successor in the wings. Canisius still is looking for a successor to Starr and probably won't name one for several weeks.

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