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It's a new head coach for the Citadel after three weeks of searching. Mike Houston from North Carolina's Lenoir-Rhyne University was introduced during a press conference Thursday morning.
Houston comes in with a winning record, spending the last three years as head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, producing a record of 29-8. In fact, as head coach, he has never produced anything less.
"In his eight years as a head coach, he has never had a losing season," says Citadel Athletic Director Larry Leckonby. The stats were a big talking point for Leckonby, who is looking to transform the Bulldogs from a middle of the pack program in the Southern Conference, to a top tier, and thinks Houston is the man for the job.
Houston spoke during the press conference about the importance of winning, saying "I believe that winning, without question, is important on the field. After all, college football is a results oriented game. But just as important to me, or even more so, is that we develop winners off the field."
In addition to his records, it's that philosophy that sold Leckonby, who claims Houston will be a great fit. Another big selling point was familiarity with an option offense, which Houston has.
Houston also comes in with some knowledge on the type of player recruited by the Citadel, saying Lenoir-Rhyne went after similar players, even pointing out quarterback Aaron Miller, as a player he had once hoped to have for the Bears that he is excited to see again. "Last time I talked to Aaron Miller he had just left Lenoir-Rhyne for his official visit." Houston jokes, "He called me that night to tell me he was committing to the Citadel, so I am excited to talk to him again."
The 42-year old coach even fitting in with the strong Citadel alumni in attendance, making a good first impression by answering their coaching questions easily and telling them exactly what they want to hear. When asked about his style on defense, Houston responded, "I can promise you one thing, we are going to be chin out over our toes and we will play downhill, very aggressive. I promise you. If you don't like to play like that, you better not come to the Citadel anymore."
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