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Longtime head coach — and former Navy LB — leaves D-III school for director of football ops job at Army

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With a little over a month until they kick off the 2018 season, one Division III football program suddenly finds itself in need of a new head coach.

Following up on speculation that first surfaced earlier this month, it has been confirmed that Clayton Kendrick-Holmes has been hired to join Jeff Monken‘s coaching staff. Specifically, Kendrick-Holmes will serve as the Black Knights’ director of football operations

Kendrick-Holmes had spent the past 13 seasons as the head coach at SUNY Maritime College, and would’ve been headed into his 14th season at the D-III school prior to taking his first job at the FBS level. With a 63-55 record, he leaves as the football program’s all-time winningest coach.

“We would like to thank Coach Kendrick-Holmes for his years of continuous service to our football team and athletics program,” Maritime athletic director Kristofer Schnatz said in a statement. “His dedication and leadership has had a positive impact on our students, team and alumni. Coach Kendrick-Holmes’ focus on individual growth, team execution and program tradition has left a lasting influence on the experience of our student-athletes.”

“On behalf of our students, staff, faculty and alumni, I would like to thank Coach Kendrick-Holmes for his leadership and commitment to Maritime College,” a statement from the college’s president, Admiral Michael Alfultis, began. “We fully support the entire Kendrick-Holmes family during this transition period and wish them future success.

Kendrick-Holmes played his college football at service academy rival Navy, where he was a two-year letter winner at the linebacker position. His oldest son, Bo, meanwhile, is currently a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.

According to Sal Interdonato of the Hudson Valley Times, “Kendrick-Holmes is first Navy graduate on Army’s staff since I began covering the team in 2007.” Interdonato added that he’s “[n]ot sure if he’s the first Navy graduate on staff in the academy’s illustrious history.”

Below is Kendrick-Holmes’ full statement on his move to what was his former rival:

I’d like to thank everyone at Maritime for allowing our family to be a part of the fabric of the college for all these years. We have been supported by everyone and every department on campus and have developed lifelong friendships along the way. A special thanks to Admiral and Kim Alfultis, Kris Schnatz and our strong and growing alumni group who helped make so much possible.”

“There is a unique work ethic and character surrounding the Maritime Family and I was proud to be a part of this. My goal each day was to do my best to create a championship environment for our team which would allow our players and coaches to reach their full potential on and off the field. No success would have been possible without the dedication and commitment of the many players, coaches and parents over the years. They have made this job incredibly rewarding.

Matt Wells adds former assistant Mark Tommerdahl as special teams coach at Texas Tech

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Texas Tech officially announced the hiring of Mark Tommerdahl to be the new special teams coach for the Red Raiders on the staff led by Matt Wells. Tommerdahl takes on the title of associate head coach as well as special teams coordinator and assistant offensive line coach.

Wells previously had Tommerdahl as a special teams coach at Utah State in 2017. Tommerdahl spent the 2018 season as special teams and tight ends coach at Purdue. He has had previous stops at Cal, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M, Alabama, TCU, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wyoming during his coaching career since 1984.

During their one season together at Utah State in 2017, Wells and Tommerdahl had a special teams unit that ranked fourth in the nation in blocked punts and owned a top 25 kickoff return defense. Last year, Tommerdahl’s Purdue special teams ranked 39th in punting (while Texas Tech ranked 61st) and 29th in punt return defense (Texas Tech was 40th). Purdue kicked just one kickoff out of bounds last season, while Texas Tech kicked six kickoffs out of bounds.

Troy LB Tron Folsom says he will enter NCAA transfer portal

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One of Troy’s top defensive players will be looking to play somewhere new in 2019. Tron Folsom announced he will enter his name in the NCAA transfer portal to begin evaluating any potential options for his final year of eligibility on the football field.

“After talking it over with my family, I will enter my name in the transfer porta and re-open my recruitment as a graduate transfer in the spring,” Folsom said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Friday. “I have no specific schools in mind and will be open minded during this process.”

As a graduate transfer, Folsom will be eligible to play immediately for whatever his new program may be this fall. He will have just one year of eligibility remaining after playing in a total of 38 games for Troy over the past three seasons.

Folsom recorded 9.0 tackles for a loss among his 82 total tackles for the Trojans last season. Folsom also had three sacks and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

30-year old Aussie punter from Maryland enters transfer portal

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After starting each of Maryland’s last 24 games, punter Wade Lees is ready to explore his potential options. According to a report on Friday, Lees has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, allowing him to be in contact with other programs who may be in need of a new punter on their football roster.

The oldest player in the Big Ten last season, Lees has one year of eligibility remaining.

Lees punted 67 times with a punting average of 40.93 yards per punt last season for Maryland.  He punted five times inside the opponent’s 20-yard line in a game against Penn State last November. It was the second time he had downed five punts inside the 20-yard line in a game during his Maryland career. In 2017, Lees punted 64 times for an average of 39.23 yards per punt. Those numbers put him right about in the middle of the Big Ten punting categories with the second-highest average number of punts per game. Lees started for Maryland for all 13 games played in his freshman season of 2016 as well.

With Lees potentially on the move, Maryland’s roster has just one player listed as a punter on the official team roster published online. Bentley Faulkner, who did not appear in a game in 2018 as a true freshman, figures to take over the punting duties during spring football practices. Expect Maryland head coach Mike Locksley to try adding a punter before the fall, if just for depth as the worst-case scenario.

Mike Leach’s final lecture will stream live through the magic of the internet

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Technology is a wonderful thing. And because of it, we’ll all be able to witness to Mike Leach instructing his class this spring semester at Washington State. Specifically, the world will be invited to observe the final session of Leach’s course, Leadership Lessons in Insurgent Warfare and Football Strategies, in late April.

Leach’s course is an extracurricular course being offered by Washington State with four separate sessions beginning in late March. The course is only available to WSU students, of course, but WSU knows there is much to be gained by allowing Leach’s class to be viewed by others outside of Pullman.

According to a statement released by Washington State, the final session will summarize all four previous lectures and there will be a live Q&A session. Those watching the live feed will be invited to submit questions in text form for the Q&A too.