Billy Napier

Louisiana football
Louisiana athletics

Louisiana OL coach D.J. Looney, 31, dies after suffering heart attack during Ragin’ Cajuns workout

2 Comments

An utter tragedy has left the Louisiana football program reeling.

Saturday, Louisiana confirmed that football assistant coach D.J. Looney died suddenly at the age of 31.  Looney suffered a heart attack during a Ragin’ Cajuns workout this morning.

Below is a statement from the athletic department:

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Department of Athletics mourns the sudden loss of Louisiana Football assistant coach D.J. Looney, who passed away Saturday morning following a heart attack during a team workout at Cajun Field.

At this time, the Department of Athletics asks that fans, friends and acquaintances of Coach Looney keep his family and the football program in their thoughts and prayers.

Looney was entering his third season as the offensive line coach for head coach Billy Napier.

In 2017, Looney served as the tight ends coach at Mississippi State.  He also began his coaching career at MSU as a graduate assistant in 2011.  Looney played his college football for the Bulldogs from 2007-10 as an offensive lineman.  In 2010, he earned a bachelor’s degree in arts & sciences from the university.

“The entire Mississippi State Family is deeply saddened and heartbroken by the loss of one of our very own in D.J. Looney,” MSU athletic director John Cohen said in a statement. “D.J. was an outstanding student-athlete and coach and an even better person. He had such a positive personality, attitude and always a smile on his face. D.J. will be remembered and missed by all who knew and loved him. Our thoughts and prayers are with D.J., his family, his friends, his former teammates, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Mississippi State.”

In addition to MSU and Louisiana, Looney also spent time on football coaching staffs at Georgia (2016, graduate assistant), Central Arkansas (2014-15, tackles/tight ends coach) and East Mississippi Community College (2012-13, recruiting coordinator).

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all those impacted by Looney’s passing.

Arkansas State announces ‘restructured contract extension’ for Blake Anderson

Arkasnas State football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

As FBS programs across the country slash budgets, Arkansas State and its head football coach have become the first to do an extension amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in December, it was reported that Blake Anderson had emerged as a strong candidate at Missouri.  Five months later, Arkansas State announced that it had reached an agreement on a “restructured contract extension” with the football coach.  The terms of the new agreement weren’t released.

Last year, Anderson made $825,000.  That was second to Louisiana’s Billy Napier ($875,000) among Sun Belt Conference schools.

“Due to our unprecedented FBS success under a head coach with Blake’s tenure, we started the process before the 2019 season to extend his contract,” said athletic director Terry Mohajir in a statement. “During this process, it gave us an opportunity to restructure his contract as well to be more beneficial for all parties. We believe this strengthens the continuity for our emerging football brand with Blake serving as a strong leader for our young guys in their athletics and academic pursuits. He has been very instrumental in our development of lettermen who go on to be great alumni representing Arkansas State University so well.”

In six seasons as the Arkansas State football head coach, Anderson has gone 47-30.  The Red Wolves have won two conference championships and appeared in six straight bowl games.

Last August, Anderson lost his wife Wendy following a lengthy battle with breast cancer.  He took a three-week leave of absence and missed the 2019 opener.  The coach returned to the sidelines the following weekend.

“I’d like to thank our athletics director Terry Mohajir, chancellor Dr. (Kelly) Damphousse and system president Dr. (Chuck) Welch for their leadership and support,” said Anderson. “When Wendy and I and our family arrived at Arkansas State over six years ago I talked about how ecstatic we were to be here, and I am just as excited today as I was then to be a part of this wonderful program, university and community. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished with two Sun Belt championships and six straight bowl games, but by no means are we satisfied. We have an outstanding group of players and coaches with goals we are working hard to achieve, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of our program.”