THIBODAUX — Charlie Stubbs resigned as football coach at Nicholls State University, citing “major health reasons” that a university spokesman didn’t elaborating on.

A longtime assistant at a number of colleges, Nicholls State was the first collegiate head coaching job for the 59-year-old Stubbs. He took over in 2010, finishing with a 10-38 record in his four-plus seasons. The Colonels lost to Division II Henderson State Saturday 27-10 falling to 0-3 this year.

“For more than four years I have given my best effort to create the climate of change needed to support a winning football program here at Nicholls,” Stubbs said in a statement. “During the past year I have been diagnosed with major health issues, and I know that now is the time to step aside and focus my efforts on my health.”

Nicholls State President Bruce Murphy accepted Stubbs’ resignation Sunday.

Spokesman Jamie Bustos said he doesn’t know anything more about Stubbs health problems, or what would cause him to resign during the season. He said the school had planned to announce it Monday, but news leaked out Sunday.

Nicholls Athletic Director Rob Bernardi praised Stubbs for improving the academic success of Nicholls State football players. Under Stubbs, the Nicholls State football program produced a Southland Conference Student Athlete of the Year and the program’s first-ever Capital One Academic First Team All-America honoree.

“In many ways, he has advanced our program in terms of the academic success of our students and the overall accountability,” Bernardi said. “For that, we are very grateful. We wish him and his family the best.”

Bernardi said associate head coach Chuck Hepola will oversee day-to-day football operations until a replacement is hired. Bustos said he’s not sure if Hepola will run the team for the rest of the season or not.

The school is a member of Southland Conference, part of the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision. The Southland Conference has 11 football-playing in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas.

Nicholls plays at the University of North Texas on Saturday.