Sources confirm Wayne State’s head football coach Paul Winters has parted ways with WSU Athletics after 19 years with the university.

No reason was given for Winters’ departure, according to The Detroit News, and WSU Athletics could not be immediately reached for comment Friday evening. 

Winters’ departure comes one month after longtime athletic director Rob Fournier announced his retirement after being placed on administrative leave for unknown reasons. 

Members of The Warriors took to Twitter on Friday expressing their admiration for the former coach, including sophomore tight end Tommy Guajardo.

“Coach Winters has changed many lives in his 20+ years of coaching. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play here at this fine institution. Beyond grateful for what presented me here,” Guajardo tweeted Friday.

Winters finished his WSU career with a 94-105 record. 

Winters is a three-time GLIAC coach of the year (2006, 2008 and 2009) and has coached more than 500 academic all-GLIAC honorees, according to The Detroit News. 

In a tweet Friday, WSU alum and sportscaster Darren M. Haynes said Winters made a strong impression on him.

“Coach Paul Winters – helped make me the man I am today. Can’t believe your nearly two decade run at Wayne State is over,” Haynes tweeted. “I’ll never forget this moment I got called for unsportsmanlike & the lesson I learned from you. The next school you go to will be lucky to have you.”

Winters joined the team in December 2003 and had the team winning games for the first time in a decade, according to The Detroit News. In 2011 the team made the national championship game, losing to Pittsburg State, and set a program record with 12 wins. 

The Warriors finished the 2022 season 1-9, a fourth losing record in five seasons.

Amelia Benavides-Colón is the editor-in-chief of The South End. She can be reached at

Cover photo by Jackson Meade.