Former FAU head coach Carl Pelini lost 15 of his 20 games in his two years at the school. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Former Florida Atlantic head football coach Carl Pelini said during a radio interview that his firing was unjustified and the result of a new athletic director wanting to hire his own football coach.
Pelini went 5-15 over two seasons with the school when he resigned in October after athletic director Pat Chun confronted him and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis about reports of their alleged illegal drug use.
"There is nothing I did there that I'm embarrassed about. I'm proud of what we accomplished," Pelini said on KFAB, via the Associated Press.
Pelini, who was a former defensive coordinator at Nebraska, denied using drugs and was fired in November after his resignation withdrawal request was granted.
Florida Atlantic, now coached by Charlie Partridge, opens the season against Nebraska on Aug. 30.
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"Ultimately, I think it boiled down to an athletic director who didn't hire me," Pelini said. "We were making improvements. He came down there from Ohio State. He was their No. 1 fundraiser and made a lot of promises about money he was going to raise and changes we were going to make facilities-wise. He was not having a lot of success and we were growing as a football program. I think he wanted to hitch his reins to a new horse and get some credit for it and wanted to make a change."