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USF AD says he wasn't forced out

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- The athletic director who helped develop the University of Sioux Falls into an NAIA powerhouse and then led the program into the NCAA Division II ranks says he was not forced out.

Willie Sanchez tells the media that he decided to step down because of the stress of the job. He says he often had disagreements with university President Mark Benedetto because "we're two emotional, fiery guys who dig in their heels in an argument." But he says he was not fired because of it.

Benedetto said earlier that Sanchez "laid a great foundation at USF" after being named athletic director in 2002.