Grand Valley State Football Coach Resigns After Comments on Having Dinner With Hitler

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Four footballs laying on a turf field

Division-II Grand Valley State University offensive coordinator Morris Berger has resigned following his recent comments that he’d like to have dinner with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. 

The university released a statement on Thursday to announce it reached the decision mutually with Berger.

"Over the last 11 years I have taken great pride in the responsibility and privilege of being a teacher, coach, mentor and a valued member of the community," Berger said in the statement. "I was excited and proud to be at Grand Valley, and am disappointed that I will not get the opportunity to help these players in 2020. However, I do not want to be a distraction to these kids, this great university or Coach Mitchell as they begin preparations for the upcoming season."

The Lakers recently announced Berger's hiring on Jan. 20. Three days later, he conducted an interview with Kellen Voss, the sports editor for The Lanthorn, GVSU's student newspaper. Voss asked Berger, who majored in history at Drury University in Missouri, which three historical figures he would most like to have dinner with.

"This is probably not going to get a good review, but I’m going to say Adolf Hitler," Berger replied. "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 [sic] a great leader."

John F. Kennedy and Christopher Columbus were his other two choices.

Last week, Grand Valley State suspended Berger, pending an investigation.

"The comments made by Offensive Coordinator Morris Berger, as reported in The Lanthorn student newspaper, do not reflect the values of Grand Valley State University," the school said in a statement. "Berger has been suspended and the university is conducting a thorough investigation."

Berger joined GVSU from Texas State, where he served as tight ends coach for one year. He had previously been an offensive quality control coach at Oklahoma State and a graduate assistant at Missouri and Missouri Western. In addition to his bachelor's degree in history from Drury, Berger also holds a master's in educational psychology from Missouri.