100 days to FCS Football Kickoff

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The Cats
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100 days to FCS Football Kickoff

Postby The Cats » Thu May 23, 2019 10:51 am

It's 100 days until FCS football kicks off. We'll start off with the traditional head coaches bio for day 100 - then move to the players for 99 and down.....



Western Carolina


Mark Speir
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Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.
Position: Head Football Coach
Alma Mater: Clemson & Western Carolina
Graduated: 1990 / 1994

Mark Speir, who has spent the bulk of his collegiate coaching career at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level, was named head football coach at Western Carolina University as announced by Director of Athletics Randy Eaton during a press conference held in the Ramsey Center on Dec. 22, 2011.

Speir (pronounced "spear"), who got his coaching career start at Western Carolina under former Catamount head coach Steve Hodgin from 1991-96, is the 13th head coach of the WCU football program all-time.

Since his arrival in Cullowhee, Speir has been a driving force in the revitalization of Catamount football, guiding WCU to back-to-back seven-win seasons in both 2015 and 2014, the latter its first winning record in a decade with the 7-5 finish. It was just the second finish above .500 since 2001 for the Catamounts. Speir led the Catamounts to a second-place finish in the Southern Conference in 2014, its highest finish in the final standings since 1986 -- and just the fourth runner-up finish since joining the league in 1977 -- before following it up with a third-place showing in 2015.

For their plaudits, Speir and his staff were finalists for the 2014 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award given at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

During the off-season following the success of the 2014 season, Speir was granted a four-year contract extension which was approved by the WCU Board of Trustees in February of 2015. With the extension, Speir is under contract June of 2020.

Since taking over as head coach in 2012, 28 Catamounts have earned All-Southern Conference first-or-second team accolades while 16 have earned All-Freshman distinction. In 2014, a school-record tying 14 Catamounts received all-conference plaudits with 13 collecting honors following the successful 2015 campaign.

Also, eight players have earned Capital One All-District III selections from CoSIDA with running back Darius Ramsey garnering Academic All-America honors in 2014.

Speir's return to Cullowhee in late-2011 came after spending the nine previous seasons at Appalachian State where he was a part of three-consecutive FCS National Championships from 2005-07, serving as the program's recruiting coordinator from 2004 through 2011 while coaching the inside linebackers prior to the move. He also coached the Mountaineers' running backs (2003-04), defensive line (2005-08) and defensive ends (2009-10) while on staff at Appalachian State.

In 2009, Speir was tabbed as the NCAA Division I FCS Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). The award has been handed out every year since 1997 at the five levels of football including the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), FCS, Division II and III, as well as NAIA levels.

Prior to Appalachian, Speir also made coaching stops at both at Presbyterian (1997-99) while the Blue Hose was an NCAA Division II member institution, and at Elon (2000-02) the year after the program made the transition to an NCAA Division I school.

A native of Kannapolis, N.C., Speir broke into coaching while an undergraduate at Clemson University, working as a student assistant from 1986 through 1989, helping the Tigers to three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships during his four years. Following his graduation with a bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1990, Speir landed on Hodgin's staff in Cullowhee, first working with the running backs from 1991-93, then the linebackers in 1994 before coaching the defensive line and serving as the program's recruiting coordinator from 1995-96.

Throughout his collegiate coaching career, Speir has made a name for himself through the recruiting process. He has held the title of recruiting coordinator at three NCAA FCS institutions (WCU, Elon and ASU), most recently organizing the efforts that landed Appalachian State six-consecutive crops of freshmen that have been widely considered to be among the top in NCAA Division I FCS recruiting classes and that helped the Mountaineers to three-straight national titles.

On the field, Speir has coached multiple All-Southern Conference selections. In all, he was a position coach for nine all-conference honorees that have earned the distinction 13 times in his nine seasons on staff in Boone.

Six of Speir's position players have garnered All-America honors during his tenure at ASU including the most recent recipient, linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough, who was selected to the second team by The Sports Network. Additionally, defensive ends Jabari Fletcher, Jason Hunter, Marques Murrell and Gary Tharrington and defensive tackle Anthony Williams combined for All-America honors a total of six times.

Speir's most notable pupils, Hunter and Murrell, tied for the SoCon lead with 13 sacks apiece and accounted for six defensive touchdowns between them in 2005. Murrell also led the nation with 13 sacks in `06. Both have enjoyed productive NFL careers, with Hunter entering his sixth pro season this year with the Denver Broncos.

Off the field, Speir is involved in many charitable causes. His efforts through Samaritan's Purse have helped raised more than $100,000 to help rebuild the Memorial Christian Hospital in Bangladesh. Part of the fundraising came through his participation in the 2008 Music City Marathon in Nashville, which he finished in 4:01; the 2009 Boston Marathon, which he completed in 3:59; and the 2010 Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. Most recently, Speir completed the grueling 2015 Boston Marathon alongside his brother.

In 2009, he traveled to Bangladesh to provide much-needed medical supplies and volunteer at the hospital for 10 days.

In 2011, Speir turned to organizing and participating in motorcycle tours as a way to continue to raise funds for the worthy cause. After five years of the motorcycle rides, Speir has helped raise $75,000 for Operation Heal Our Patriots, another Samaritan's Purse initiative.

Jerry Moore, the former head coach at Appalachian State where Speir has worked for nine seasons, praised WCU for its decision.

"Western Carolina is very lucky to get Mark. He is a perfect fit; he knows Western Carolina and knows it well. WCU is very, very fortunate to get Mark Speir. He is a great coach and a better man; he is the kind of guy that you would love your son to go play for," said Moore upon Speir's hiring at WCU.

Former Catamount football standout Brad Hoover, who went on to play nine seasons in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, credits Speir as "... one of the main reasons I went to WCU." "It was because of the level of Mark Speir's sincerity and his positive attitude during my recruitment experience with him that drew me to commit to Western Carolina," said Hoover.

Speir is married to the former Paige Holt of Pickens, S.C., and the couple has two sons -- Zeb, who is in his second year at Appalachian State and a walk-on for the Mountaineer football team, and Jackson.

SPEIR AT A GLANCE Coaching Experience
1986-89: Clemson (Student Assistant)
1991-93: Western Carolina (Running Backs)
1994: Western Carolina (Outside Linebackers)
1995-96: Western Carolina (Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator)
1997-99: Presbyterian (Defensive Line/Strength and Conditioning)
2000-01: Elon (Running Backs/Special Teams/Recruiting Coordinator)
2002: Elon (Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator)
2003-04: Appalachian State (Running Backs)
2005-09: Appalachian State (Defensive Line)
2004-11: Appalachian State (Recruiting Coordinator)
2009-10: Appalachian State (Defensive Ends)
2011: Appalachian State (Inside Linebackers)

Alma Mater: Clemson, 1990 (Master's -- Western Carolina, 1994)
Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.
Wife: Paige (Holt)
Sons: Zeb and Jackson

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Go Cats !!!

"I knew how good the people here were. We’d didn’t try to build it fast, we wanted to build this for the long haul. This is where I want my last coaching job to be." - HC Mark Speir Aug. 29, 2018

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Re: 100 days to FCS Football Kickoff

Postby Mvemjsunpx » Thu May 23, 2019 6:20 pm

Montana HC:

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Bobby Hauck
2nd. Season (2nd. stint—9th. season total)
54 Years Old (55 @ season start)
Montana '88 (B.A.)
UCLA '91 (M.S.)
Big Timber, MT
Big Timber HS


Overall Record (total): 101-72 (.584)
Overall Record (@ UM): 86-22 (.796)
Big Sky Record: 51-10 (.836)
FCS Playoff Record: 11-7 (.611)


Coaching Experience

DB/DL - Montana (1988-89)
Grad Assistant - UCLA (1990-92)
OLB - Northern Arizona (1993-94)
S/OLB/ST Coordinator - Colorado (1995-98)
DB/ST Coordinator - Washington (1999-02)
Head Coach - Montana (2003-09)
Head Coach - UNLV (2010-14)
ST Coordinator/Associate HC - San Diego St. (2015-17)
Head Coach - Montana (2018-present)

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Re: 100 days to FCS Football Kickoff

Postby dbackjon » Thu May 23, 2019 7:11 pm

Northern Arizona Head Coach Chris Ball

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Chris Ball was named as the 30th head coach in the 104-year history of NAU Football on December 10, 2018.

Ball, who has over 30 years of college football coaching experience, arrives at Northern Arizona after serving for three seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Memphis under head coach Mike Norvell.

Ball has a reputation of producing defenses that create turnovers, and he didn’t disappoint in his three seasons at the helm of the Memphis defense. Ball’s defense at Memphis ranked as one of the nation’s most-opportunistic units during his tenure with the Tigers, forcing the fifth-most turnovers over a three-year span among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) squads with 80 (29 in 2016/31 in 2017/20 in 2018). The 31 caused turnovers were tied for third nationally in 2017, and the 29 forced in 2016 were tied for fifth nationally.

Of the 80 forced turnovers, 40 were fumble recoveries (13 in 2016/15 in 2017/12 in 2018), which is among the FBS’ top-10 over the last three campaigns. In 2016, the 13 fumble recoveries were tied for sixth in FBS in 2016, the 15 in 2017 were tied for fourth nationally and 12 recoveries in 2018 ranked ninth among national FBS leaders.

Not only did the Tigers force turnovers, they made a habit of capitalizing on their opponents’ miscues. Of the 80 turnovers by opponents from 2016-18, Memphis scored 44 times, including seven defensive touchdowns (six interception returns/one fumble recovery). The defense also ranked in top-20 in FBS in turnover margin in both 2016 and 2017 and sat among the top 50 national leaders in 2018 (+4). In 2016, the Tigers were 18th nationally in turnover margin at +8. The 2017 season saw Memphis nearly double its turnover margin at +15, which was third in FBS. The +15 turnover margin marked the Tigers’ best in the 21st century.

Ball’s aggressive style of defense has helped players develop and flourish in his system. Linebacker Genard Avery, who set the Memphis school record with 22 TFL in 2017, was a two-time All-American Athletic Conference first team selection and became the Cleveland Browns’ fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. TJ Carter, a highly-recruited talent, further developed his skills in Ball’s defense. Carter, the 2017 American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, picked off a Memphis freshman-record five passes. The five interceptions were tied for 15th in FBS overall and deadlocked for third nationally among FBS freshmen. Carter also earned Freshman All-America honors in 2017. Former defensive back Arthur Maulet thrived in 2016. Maulet led the team with 13 pass breakups and also had two interceptions. From his secondary position, Maulet logged 7.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks. In May 2017, Maulet signed a free-agent contract with his hometown New Orleans Saints. He made six appearances for the Saints in 2017.

Prior to Memphis, Ball was at Arizona State from 2012-15 and served as the defensive passing game coordinator and safeties coach in 2012, before being promoted to co-defensive coordinator the following season. In his four seasons in Tempe, Ball helped guide seven Sun Devils defensive backs to All-Pac-12 honors. One of Ball’s pupils was All-Pac-12 first team honoree Damarious Randall, who was a first round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.
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Re: 100 days to FCS Football Kickoff

Postby ALPHAGRIZ1 » Mon May 27, 2019 8:24 am

Didn't take Ball long to RIP off "The North" marketing from The Toronto Raptors.

Hope hes a better football coach than he is at geography

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