Lamar expected to unveil coach Thursday

Published 7:35 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2016

BEAUMONT — The month-long suspense surrounding the vacant head football coaching position at Lamar has reached its climax.

A press conference to announce the head football coach will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Dauphin Athletic Complex. Lamar athletic director Jason Henderson said last week he had planned to name a head coach by the Christmas break.

Lamar has not had a head coach since Nov. 21, when Ray Woodard — the team’s only head coach since football was reinstated at the university in 2010 — was fired following a 3-8 season. Woodard went 34-46 at Lamar, with only one winning season (8-4 in 2014).

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Lamar officials have been tight-lipped about when interviews were conducted and who with. A Freedom of Information request by The News to reveal applicants for the job is not expected to be fulfilled until January because the university is on Christmas break. The request was turned in to Lamar’s open records division Dec. 8.

A local television station, citing sources close to the matter, reported last week that former Texas A&M quarterback and Atascocita High head coach Craig Stump was the front-runner for the position. Stump, who was a quarterback at the former Thomas Jefferson High in Port Arthur, has collegiate coaching experience with six years at Mississippi State under his Texas A&M coach, Jackie Sherrill, and three seasons at Tulane.

Stump was previously West Brook’s head coach before taking the Atascocita job. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Former Montana State head coach Rob Ash, who is an offensive analyst at Arkansas but has family ties to Texas, was the only candidate The News confirmed. Ash declined to say whether he’s been interviewed, citing he did not want to jeopardize the search process.

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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