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LU’s Schultz Names Assistant Coaches

BEAUMONT, Texas – Since the moment he was named Lamar University head football coach, Mike Schultz has been in a collegiate athletics whirlwind which has included getting to know his current players, putting together a staff and hitting the recruiting trail. He took one step closer to the start of the 2017 season with the naming of eight assistant coaches Friday.

Troy Douglas (co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs), Melvin Smith (co-defensive coordinator), Dan Dodd (offensive coordinator), Brad Bedell (offensive line), Kevin Brown (receivers), Eric Buchanan (running backs), Cam Clark (outside linebackers and strong safeties) and Todd Ivicic (defensive line) have joined the Cardinals football coaching staff announced Schultz Friday morning.

“I’m very excited about the staff that we have assembled,” said first-year LU head coach Mike Schultz. “I think we hit our expectation level for bringing in high quality coaches. I feel very fortunate about the staff we have assembled. This staff has a great combination of maturity, experience, youth and energy. We have guys who have a great deal of experience working at power five schools, serving as coordinators and experience within the Southland Conference.

“These guys have come in and hit the ground running. It’s exciting for any new coach to have his staff assembled. It was tough when I first got here because I was a one-man show, and I knew that would be the case at the very beginning, but it is full steam ahead now,” added Schultz.

The Cardinals newest additions to the sideline bring with them a wealth of experience which includes coaching veterans at all of levels of the game. Among the seven hires five have served as either an offensive or defensive coordinator during their careers, and three have worked with the Southland Conference. Combined they have produced a strong résumé of players who have gone on to play at the next level.

A veteran with nearly 40 years coaching experience, Dodd will take over as the Cardinals offensive coordinator in 2017. Dodd comes to the Golden Triangle after spending the previous five years as an assistant coach at Arkansas State. During his time with the Red Wolves, he helped coach a record setting offense that set school standards for touchdowns and yards of total offense.

Dodd also served as the Red Wolves’ recruiting coordinator, where he helped bring in the Sun Belt’s top signing class (according to Rivals.com) in 2014.

Prior to his stay in Jonesboro, Dodd made coaching stops at Tulane, New Mexico, TCU and Utah State and served as offensive coordinator at Western Illinois. Dodd has also served as a head coach at the high school level.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Douglas will serve as co-defensive coordinator along with Smith. A veteran of nearly 30 years, the majority of which has been spent at the FBS level, Douglas has a long track record of sending players on to the NFL. Over the course of his career, he has sent nearly 20 players on to the next level, including five players on NFL rosters as recently as 2013.

Douglas’ coaching track has made stops at Pittsburgh, Iowa State, North Carolina, South Florida, Indiana and Michigan State. He also has a familiarity with the state of Texas having spent four seasons at SMU and two at UTEP. Douglas also spent time working at the FBS level with coaching stints at East Tennessee State and Appalachian State.

A coaching veteran of 33 years, the majority of which has been spent in the Southeastern Conference, Smith comes to Beaumont after serving the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator at UL-Lafayette. Prior to his stint with the Ragin’ Cajuns, Smith was an assistant at Auburn where helped guide the Tigers to the 2013 SEC Championship and a berth in the BCS Championship game.

During his first season with Tigers, Smith was  instrumental in the second largest turnaround in college football history (+8), while his secondary made one of the most dramatic improvements in production recording 13 interceptions after picking off just two the year before.

Prior to his time in Auburn, Smith spent seven seasons at Mississippi State where he helped guide the Bulldogs to a top-25 national ranking. Smith has also served as an assistant coach at Texas A&M, Alabama and Mississippi.

A former NFL player and All-American, Bedell comes to Beaumont after spending the 2016 campaign in Waco working with the Bears. Prior to his position at Baylor, Bedell spent two seasons working with the offensive line at Texas State under former head coach Dennis Franchione. Bedell moved to San Marcos after one season at Arkansas State where he helped the Red Wolves to a Sun Belt title and a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

Brown comes to Beaumont after a five-year stint at UTSA where he was originally hired by former Roadrunners head coach Larry Coker as a tight ends coach, and was eventually promoted to offensive coordinator. Brown also spent four seasons at TCU following a three-year stint as a graduate assistant at Texas State.

Buchanan will take over the running back position for the Cardinals, after spending the previous five seasons at Iowa Western serving as special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach. During his time with the Reivers, Buchanan coached five all-conference selections and one All-American. He also produced 18 athletes who went on to play football at a four-year institution, including 16 NCAA Division I schools. Among those 16 athletes, nine went on to play for schools in power five conferences.

Clark left his position as defensive coordinator at Faulkner University to take over the Cardinals safeties and outside linebackers. A former assistant to Gus Malzahn, Clark spent two seasons at Auburn serving as Tigers’ defensive graduate assistant. Clark also spent one season with Malzahn at Arkansas State.

Ivicic brings a great deal of knowledge of coaching within the Southland Conference after spending time at Stephen F. Austin and most recently Incarnate Word. Ivicic spent four seasons in San Antonio serving as defensive and special teams coordinator until he was named interim head coach for the final three games of the 2011 season. After Larry Kennan was named head coach at UIW, Ivicic became the associate head coach working with the defensive line.