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McNeese elevates Guidry to head coach

McNeese State didn’t take very long to find its new head football coach.

He was already on staff.

The university in Lake Charles officially introduced Lance Guidry as its head coach, just two days after predecessor Matt Viator was announced as Louisiana-Monroe’s new head man. Guidry, a 1995 McNeese graduate, was for the past three seasons the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys, who won the Southland Conference championship this season.

“This is an established program, but we need to get back to a dominant one once again,” Guidry said during a press conference Wednesday. “This season was a great start. It starts with personnel in our program, so it will start with our staff. We have a great staff now, but I don’t know who will be with me or who wants to leave. The ones who are here with me are going to ride with me, I promise you that.”

McNeese State defeated Lamar 20-14 in Beaumont to complete a 10-0 regular season on Nov. 21. Earning a first-round bye in the NCAA Division I playoffs, the Cowboys then lost to current semifinalist Sam Houston State 34-29, two weeks later.

This is Guidry’s first permanent head coaching gig on the collegiate level. He was interim coach at Miami University of Ohio for the 2010 GoDaddy Bowl, a win over Middle Tennessee, and at Western Kentucky for the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, a loss to Central Michigan. He succeeded recently hired Texas Southern coach Mike Haywood and current South Florida coach Willie Taggart, respectively, in those instances.

“He’s a proven winner everywhere he’s been,” McNeese athletic director Bruce Hemphill said. “He’s an exceptional motivator and understands the pulse of the team.”

Guidry, who lettered at McNeese from 1990-93, coached on the high school level before first joining McNeese’s staff in 2000. He left after the 2004 season to become head coach at Carencro (Louisiana) High for three years before returning to coach the defensive backs in 2008.

 

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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