Maxie Baughan, the former all-pro football player who last season led Cornell to its first Ivy League football title since the Ed Marinaro years, has stepped down as head coach amid reports that he was romantically involved with his top assistant's wife.
Citing "personal tensions" in Cornell's football program, Baughan, 50, resigned Tuesday from the post he has held since 1983. His resignation comes six months after the Big Red tied Penn for the Ivy League championship.
In a statement released by the university late Tuesday night, Baughan said the unspecified tensions and distractions "have engulfed the program" and were taking a toll on him and others associated with the team.
A rift between Baughan and his assistant head coach, Peter Noyes, surfaced two weeks ago. Later, the Ithaca Journal reported that the rift stemmed from a romantic relationship between Baughan and Noyes' wife, Cathy. The newspaper said several unidentified sources had confirmed that Baughan, who is married, and Noyes' wife were involved in a "longtime romantic relationship."
Noyes has been on leave with pay from the Cornell coaching staff since early March. On April 13, Noyes said, "I cannot and will not return to work until the situation (with Baughan) is resolved."
Baughan was an All-America linebacker at Georgia Tech who went on to play 14 years in the National Football League with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams, being selected All-Pro four times.