Randy Fargo

ETSU coach Randy Sanders leads his team onto the field at the Fargodome, where the Bucs’ season ended with a 27-3 defeat.

East Tennessee State University's Head Football Coach Randy Sanders announced Monday he is planning to retire.

His announcement comes following the Bucs season-ending loss in the FCS Playoffs to North Dakota State. 

Sanders was hired by ETSU four years ago to take over the football program and led them to a share of the 2018 Southern Conference Championship in his first season. This season he guided ETSU to its first ever outright Southern Conference Championship and a thrilling playoff win over Kennesaw State before they lost to NDSU on Saturday — ending their historic season. 

"I want to thank Dr. Brian Noland and Scott Carter for giving me the opportunity to lead the ETSU football program," Sanders said in a press release. "This wasn't an easy decision. I have been fortunate to coach football for over 30 years, and I've really enjoyed my time at ETSU, but I am ready for the next chapter. I am looking forward to spending time with my family and being around my grandchildren. I will forever be a Buccaneer and I am grateful for all the friendships I have made during my time at ETSU."

In 2021 the Buccaneers set program records for wins, points scored, points per game, total offense, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. The season started with a bang as the Bucs took down Vanderbilt for the program's second-ever win over a Power-5 program and finished the season ranked 8th nationally, their highest national ranking since the return of football in 2015. 

ETSU was seeded 7th in the FCS Playoffs and earned their first playoff victory in 25 years with an instant classic comeback over Kennesaw State in which they trailed by 14 with under two minutes remaining. Their season came to an end at the hands of FCS powerhouse NDSU who beat the Bucs 27-3 on Saturday. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.


Try the Johnson City Press app today. Download here from Google Play and the App Store.

Recommended Videos

Recommended for you

Trending Recipe Video