New Lamar University coach talks program goals, plans for Jah’Mar Sanders & Kyndon Fuselier

Published 12:34 am Saturday, April 15, 2023

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Keep local players in Southeast Texas.

That’s the goal for Lamar University Head Football Coach Pete Rossomando as he prepares for his first season with the Cardinals.

“The 409 has incredible talent,” he said. “Any football fan in the country knows Jimmy Johnson, Wade Phillips and Jamaal Charles; and they’re all from this area. That kind of tells you all you need to know about the history and the talent around here.”

Memorial quarterback Jah’mar Sanders throws during a Titans summer workout program. (Chris Moore/The News)

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Rossomando was appointed in December as head coach — the fourth since LU reinstated the football program in 2010.

“In addition to an impressive résumé, Pete has created a strong reputation centered around building programs into championship contenders at both the NCAA Division II and FCS levels,” Director of Athletics Jeff O’Malley said in a written release.

“He has guided multiple teams to conference titles and postseason appearances. I believe he is the perfect fit for Lamar University at this time, and I look forward to the future of the program under his direction.”

And for Rossomando, that vision includes more local athletes.

Two high school standouts from Southeast Texas will play for the Cardinals this season — 2022 Memorial High School graduate Jah’Mar Sanders and 2022 Nederland High School graduate Kyndon Fuselier.

Kyndon Fuselier turns the corner for the Bulldogs. (Chris Moore/The News)

“They’re both great kids,” Rossomando said. “And I think anything that was said about them before, about what kind of guys they are and all that, it’s twice as good as what they say.”

Fuselier joined the Cardinals after high school and is entering his second season with the team.

“Kyndon is everything you want in a football player,” Rossomando said. “He’s tough. He’s physical. He’s athletic. He’s smart. I love working with him. I think every coach does.”

Sanders first joined the University of New Mexico in 2022, opting in January to return to Southeast Texas.

“Jah’Mar is going to be very special,” Rossomando said. “He’s still learning. He was quarterback in high school so he’s learning how to play wide receiver, but he’s going to be really good.”

Pete Rossomando was named head coach of the Lamar University football team in December. (Courtesy photo)

Both will be a part of the team’s April 28 scrimmage, which begins at 6 p.m. at Provost Umphrey Stadium.

In addition to garnering the community’s support on the field, Rossomando said another part of his vision is to ensure the team is engaged in the community by means of service work for organizations in need of volunteers.

“The community has been unbelievable,” he said. “It’s been awesome.”

Currently in spring training, the former NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year and 2017 Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year finalist said, when it comes to the LU football program, “there’s no place to go but up.”

“It hasn’t been very successful over the last few years. I think the administration is trying to get things moving in the right direction,” he said. “I saw that in the interview process. It’s been everything I thought it would be — maybe a little bit more.”