TERRE HAUTE —
What traits do head football coaches seek out when they hire position coaches?
Indiana State football coach Mike Sanford provided insight into that question as he hired former Southeast Louisiana head coach Mike Lucas to his staff Tuesday. Lucas will be the Sycamores’ defensive line coach.
“You have to look at your staff and see what you need. I felt like in this particular case, I wanted an experienced defensive line coach. I feel like we have a mixture of experience and youth and I want to keep that going,” Sanford said.
Lucas was Southeast Louisiana’s head coach from 2007-11 where he compiled a record of 19-40. The Lions’ best season in Lucas’s five-year tenure was a 6-5 mark in 2009. Southeast Louisiana also achieved its highest Southland Conference finish under Lucas — fourth — that season. His contract was not renewed after the 2011 season.
Lucas was the defensive coordinator at Sam Houston State for 15 years as the Bearkats were in the top 15 in national defensive categories 11 times.
“I think his expertise and exposure is huge. The fact that he’s been a head coach is helpful to me. There’s things I can bounce off him having been a head coach. I like that he’s spent most of his career in FCS. I think if you’re always hiring guys from FBS that haven’t been in FCS, there’s an educational process,” Sanford said.
In an all-encompassing interview, Sanford said that ISU’s players reported back to campus on Monday. He is not allowed to have direct contact with the players, but said he heard that most of them were on-campus. Sanford greeted the players with a barbeque at his house.
Sanford said he was proud of the team’s academic achievement. ISU football had a combined grade point average of 2.85.
Sanford also said that two players were walk-ons during spring practice — tight end Jamar Brown and cornerback Alex Stowers — are now scholarship players for the Sycamores.
• Sanford skills camp — ISU coach Mike Sanford has announced dates for this 2013 Mike Sanford Football Offensive & Defensive Skills and Development Camps and the Mike Sanford Youth Camp.
Six one-day development camps will be held around the state this month. Sanford will visit Merrillville on June 11, Homestead on June 12, Ben Davis on June 13 and Jeffersonville and Evansville Central on June 15. Sanford will have a one-day camp from 1 to 4 p.m. on June 21 at Memorial Stadium. Participants are eligible if they’re in grades 9-12 in the fall of 2013. Pre-registration costs $45. Walk-up registration is $55.
The Mike Sanford Youth Camp will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. on June 17-20 at Memorial Stadium. Participants from preschool to 8th grade are eligible. Pre-registration costs $90. Walk-up registration is $100. Family pricing is available as two children cost $150, three cost $225 and families with more than three children will cost $75 per child.