Dec. 3, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Lamar head coach Ray Woodard will lead the Cardinal football program into the 2014 season announced Director of Athletics Jason Henderson Tuesday afternoon.
"Starting a program from the ground up is a different situation than taking over a program that has been struggling," said Henderson. "There is a growth process that has to take place. We believe that this program his headed in the right direction under Coach Woodard, and we feel that this season is a step toward competing at the top of the Southland Conference, which is our ultimate goal."
The Cardinals finished the 2013 season by tying a record for wins since bringing back the program. Lamar went 5-7 on the season, and posted a 2-5 record in Southland Conference play. Although the Cardinals finished the season below the .500 mark, there were several positive signs that came from the team's setbacks. In 2013, Lamar took then No. 2 Sam Houston State down to the wire before falling 14-3. Lamar flipped the series on SFA defeating their rivals on a 40-yard field goal with seconds remaining.
A similar case can be made against McNeese State. The Cowboys had won the previous two meetings by a combined 63 points and entered this year's contest ranked No. 6 nationally, but had to rally with a touchdown in the game's final minute to escape Beaumont with a win. In addition, Lamar dropped a two-point decision to then No. 20 Central Arkansas, as well as a heartbreaking decision at Louisiana Tech, which is a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Lamar also re-wrote the record books this past season. More than 20 team and individual records were either tied or broken during the year, including junior quarterback Caleb Berry who recorded the best single-season performance by a Lamar quarterback in program history.
Following the season, Lamar set another record of sorts by having 10 players named to the All-Southland Conference team, including three first-team selections. Freshman running back Kade Harrington
was named the league's top freshman, while senior defensive end Jesse Dickson
garnered league defensive player of the year honors according to College Sports Madness.
The Cardinals return 14 starters, including eight on offense. Although Lamar only returns three defensive starters, it returns several players who saw key playing time off the bench and pushed the starters for snaps this season.