At the time, it seemed like a rather meaningless distinction. Everyone knew Faust's contract was up and that ND wasn't going to renew it. But Faust could've forced ND to publicly fire him. He didn't. His exit (save for that humiliating last game in Miami) was extremely graceful. He didn't burn any bridges. From that point on, he's had nothing but good things to say about ND, and has made his love for ND very clear.
Faust is a unique case. I continue to think he was an even worse coach than those who have followed (I was born months after Kucharich resigned), and as discussed below, I think he's a man of many faults. Let's just say that, much like Jimmy Carter and the presidency, Faust is a much better ex-coach than he ever was a coach.