Lamar AD makes statement on football coaching search

Published 11:10 pm Friday, December 16, 2016

Lamar athletic director Jason Henderson on Friday evening released his first formal statement on the search for a new head football coach since the firing of Ray Woodard on Nov. 21.

Henderson did not list any names of candidates for the position, but said he still plans on having a new hire in place before the holiday break. Lamar’s holiday break is Dec. 23-31.

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“Lamar University administrators and Collegiate Consulting are working diligently to identify LU’s next head football coach,” Henderson said in the statement. “Many candidates have expressed their interest to us directly, while Collegiate Consulting has brought many others for our consideration. We are encouraged by the quality of the applicant pool and are confident that we will soon arrive at an outstanding leader for the program.

“We are conducting thorough evaluations on each applicant to identify those candidates that we believe will prosper at Lamar University. We want to ensure that we have done our due diligence, but also move the process toward completion in a timely manner. We want to find the best possible head coach for Lamar University and all of our fans.”

The News has confirmed only one candidate, former Montana State head coach and current Arkansas offensive analyst Rob Ash. The 65-year-old went 70-38 with Montana State from 2007-15 and has won 246 career games overall (1980-2015).

A local TV station, citing sources, identified Thomas Jefferson graduate, former Texas A&M quarterback and current Atascocita High head coach Craig Stump as a front-runner for the job. Stump has not returned a request from The News for comment.

Woodard went 34-46 as Lamar’s only head coach since the university relaunched its football program in 2010, but was fired following a 3-8 campaign this fall.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

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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