CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- UTC Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics David Blackburn announced a contract extension for Mocs head football coach Russ Huesman today. With the new agreement, Coach Huesman is under contract with the Mocs through the 2018 football season.
“The success and improvement in our football program under Coach Huesman has been tremendous,” stated Blackburn. “He is building a tradition of excellence in the classroom, in competition and in the community, and I look forward to working with him for many years to come.”
Coach Huesman led Chattanooga to its first SoCon title since 1984 and just its fifth in school history last season. He directed the Mocs to an 8-4 overall record, with a 6-2 mark in league play. UTC finished the year as the top defensive squad in the SoCon, leading the conference in scoring defense (20.4) and total defense (328.9).
The Mocs had a number of firsts in 2013, including the most wins ever in SoCon play. The eight wins are the most since 1980, and Chattanooga swept the league’s Coach of the Year (Russ Huesman), Offensive Player of the Year (Jacob Huesman) and Defensive Player of the Year (Davis Tull) honors for the first time.
The Mocs were nationally ranked for several weeks in 2013, finishing in the top 25 in both the FCS Coaches Poll (23) and The Sports Network Poll (21). It is the first time since 1984 that Chattanooga was listed in a year-ending national poll.
Coach Huesman became just the second UTC head coach be named SoCon Coach of the Year by his peers (Buddy Nix, 1990). Huesman took the honor for the second time, joining Joe Morrison as the only Mocs coaches to win multiple SoCon Coach of the Year honors. He was also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the National Coach of the Year.
“I would like to thank both David Blackburn and Chancellor Angle for their commitment to what we are trying to do here with our football program,” stated Huesman. “Our administrative support has been tremendous and we all look forward to bringing more championships to Chattanooga and building a program that represents this University the right way.”
Coach Huesman orchestrated a dramatic turnaround on the football field, but his impact is also seen in the Mocs’ performance in the classroom. Not only was Tull the 2013 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, but he was also the first Academic All-American in program history. UTC has 37 Academic All-SoCon honorees during Coach Huesman’s tenure. There were just 12 in the six years prior to his arrival.
The community has also taken note of the Mocs success under Huesman. Attendance has jumped dramatically since his arrival in 2009, including a school record 12,699 fans per game in the 2012 season. UTC has averaged over 9,500 fans per game in each of his five years. Only once in the previous 12 seasons before Coach Huesman did Chattanooga football have that big of an attendance average.