PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — After eight years at the helm of the University of West Florida’s football team, head coach Pete Shinnick has resigned to accept the same position at Division I Towson University.

Shinnick was hired as the university’s first coach in school history in 2014, and compiled a 56-21 record in six seasons.

“During that time, he created a culture that was second-to-none and made UWF a top destination for student-athletes across the country,” The university said in a release.

UWF won the 2019 Division II National Championship in its fourth season of play, matching the NCAA record for fastest startup to win a title. The Argos appeared in the NCAA Playoffs four times, advancing to the national championship twice and were one of two teams to advance to the semifinals three times in that span.

“My family and I have enjoyed every moment of our time at UWF and in Pensacola,” Shinnick said. “This university has supported us in so many ways and the success on and off the field is a direct result of that. A special thank you to Dr. Bense for wanting to start football, Dave Scott for believing in me to be the man to do that and Dr. Saunders for her continued support of our program. Arete! Go Argos.”

UWF Athletics Director Dave Scott said they are grateful for Shinnick and his dedication to the program.

“It is no easy feat to build a program from the ground up, but Coach Shinnick did just that — accomplishing much in the program’s six seasons,” Scott said. “We look forward to the future of Argo football and the new opportunities that are to come. We are committed to finding a head coach who embodies the Argo spirit and will continue the legacy of building champions for life, on and off the field.”

Shinnick has a 159-67 career coaching record, which includes a 50-24 record in seven seasons at UNC Pembroke from 2007-13, and 53-22 in seven seasons at Azusa Pacific from 1999-2005.