PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

December 3, 2013

Woodard to return as LU football coach

BEAUMONT —  Lamar head coach Ray Woodard will lead the Cardinal football

program into the 2014 season announced Director of Athletics Jason Henderson

Tuesday afternoon.

“Starting a program from the ground up is a different situation than taking

over a program that has been struggling,” said Henderson. “There is a growth

process that has to take place. We believe that this program his headed in the

right direction under Coach Woodard, and we feel that this season is a step

toward competing at the top of the Southland Conference, which is our ultimate

goal.”

The Cardinals finished the 2013 season by tying a record for wins since bringing

back the program. Lamar went 5-7 on the season, and posted a 2-5 record in

Southland Conference play. Although the Cardinals finished the season below the

.500 mark, there were several positive signs that came from the team’s

setbacks.

In 2013, Lamar took then No. 2 Sam Houston State down to the wire

before falling 14-3. Lamar flipped the series on SFA defeating their rivals on a

40-yard field goal with seconds remaining.

A similar case can be made against McNeese State. The Cowboys had won the

previous two meetings by a combined 63 points and entered this year’s contest

ranked No. 6 nationally, but had to rally with a touchdown in the game’s final

minute to escape Beaumont with a win.

In addition, Lamar dropped a two-point decision to then No. 20 Central Arkansas, as well as a heartbreaking decision at Louisiana Tech, which is a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Lamar also re-wrote the record books this past season. More than 20 team and

individual records were either tied or broken during the year, including junior

quarterback Caleb Berry who recorded the best single-season performance by a

Lamar quarterback in program history.

Following the season, Lamar set another record of sorts by having 10 players

named to the All-Southland Conference team, including three first-team

selections.

Freshman running back Kade Harrington was named the league’s top

freshman, while senior defensive end Jesse Dickson garnered league defensive

player of the year honors according to College Sports Madness.

The Cardinals return 14 starters, including eight on offense. Although Lamar

only returns three defensive starters, it returns several players who saw key

playing time off the bench and pushed the starters for snaps this season.

 

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