- Morris Berger resigned from his role as offensive coordinator for Grand Valley State University’s football team on Thursday.
- He was previously suspended after telling the school’s newspaper that he wanted to meet Adolf Hitler because he admired his leadership skills.
- He also named President John F. Kennedy and Christopher Columbus as historical figures he wanted to meet.
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A college football coach in Michigan has resigned after he faced a suspension for telling the school’s newspaper that Adolf Hitler was a “great leader” and someone he would like to meet.
Morris Berger, who was hired as the offensive coordinator for Grand Valley State University in Allendale Charter Township, Michigan, on January 20, acknowledged his error in his resignation letter on Thursday.
“In a poor effort to give an outside-the-box answer to a question, I mistakenly communicated something absurd,” Berger said in an all-caps letter he posted to Twitter. “There is no justifiable excuse — it was insensitive and not my intent.”
He said he “failed” his parents, Grand Valley, and himself through the comment.
“I mishandled the answer, and fell way short of the mark,” he said, adding that he hopes to “regain the trust and respect of everyone that I have let down.”
Berger had been asked by the student paper, the Grand Valley Lanthorn, about which historical figure — living or dead — he would like to have dinner with for an interview that was published on January 23.
“This is probably not going to get a good review, but I’m going to say, Adolf Hitler,” Berger told the Lanthorn. “It was obviously very sad, and he had bad motives, but the way he was able to lead was second to none. How he rallied a group and a following, I want to know how he did that. Bad intentions of course, but you can’t deny he wasn’t a great leader.”
He also said he’d like to meet President John F. Kennedy and Christopher Columbus.
Upon suspending Berger earlier this week, university officials said in a statement to WOOD TV that his comments “do not reflect” the university’s values.
Before joining Grand Valley State, Berger worked as a tight-ends coach at Texas State University, and he was on the coaching staffs at Oklahoma State University and at the University of Missouri, according to a press release about his hire.