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Speaking of the Southland

Mid-Year Signees Report, Plus More Coaches on the Move

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Lamar has yet to play a game and they have already lost one of their coordinators. Former Sam Houston State and Tarleton State assistant [url=]Tommy Mainord left Lamar[/url] to take an assistant coaching position at Texas Tech. Mainord's dad - Tommy - was one of the assistants who retired or resigned in wake of the coaching change from Mike Leach to Tommy Tuberville. Lamar head coach Ray Woodard has said that he wanted to keep the offense and schemes that the team has worked on intact.

Perhaps this reasoning is behind the fact that one football coaching scoop web site - [url=][/url] has reported that former Sam Houston State head coach Todd Whitten could be in the mix for the Lamar job. Whitten, who has also been mentioned for the offensive coordinator position at North Texas by the same site. Whitten, who has experience as an offensive coordinator at both Wyoming and SHSU, was Mainord's mentor at his previous two stops. Another former Whitten assistant, Nathan Reeves, is a member of the Lamar offensive coaching staff.

Coaching movements continue to dominate the off-season discussion as our second talking point also comes from the coaching ranks. Former Central Arkansas signal-caller Zak Clark is expected to be announced as the new quarterback coach for his alma mater according to reports out of the [url=]Log Cabin Democrat[/url].

Clark was a finalist for the Harlen Hill Award in 2002, the Division II equivalent of the Walter Payton Award. Clark's hire was brought about as previous quarterback coach Buster Faulkner was named offensive coordinator at Ohio Valley Conference member Murray State.

Filling holes in the coaching staff is nothing new for UCA head coach Clint Conque, who has watched two of his coaches become offensive coordinators at other schools in the last few weeks. In addition to Faulkner, wide receivers coach Jerry Mack, should be named as the new offensive coordinator at Arkansas-Pine Bluff this coming week.

Clark, most recently served as an assistant at Springdale High School.

Mid-year signees are part of the recruiting game and several Southland Conference schools have already made some additions from the junior college or Football Bowl Subdivision ranks. Most notably has been the addition of five Navarro players at Lamar. Navarro is where Woodard came to Beaumont from and he has had success mining his previous stomping grounds for several players. Joining Woodard by way of Navarro are DB Ryan Clark, CB Stephone Mercer, WR Josh Powdill, WR JJ Hayes and DE Darby Jackson. Woodard's staff has also tapped into the dismantling of the Northeastern football program by adding Steven Murray-Sesay. Woodard could not reel in all the Navarro talent as OL Sherad Sorrells has signed a national letter of intent with Northwestern State.

Some of the FBS transfers that have moved on mid-year include Tennessee TE Jeremy Jester (Central Arkansas), Utah DB Jarrad Stewart (Texas State), Tulane S Jordan Garrett (Lamar) and Western Michigan WR Seth Patterson (Sam Houston State).

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