AC hires new coach

When the Austin College football team takes the field in 2010, it will be led by a familiar face, as college officials announced today that former Kangaroo defensive coordinator Loren Dawson has been named the team’s head coach. Dawson will return to Austin College after having served during the 2008 and 2009 seasons as the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Colorado School of Mines with head coach Bob Stitt, former Austin College offensive coordinator.

“I am looking forward to Coach Dawson’s leadership, particularly because I am confident he has the skills to lead the ’Roos to success on the playing field,” said Austin College President Marjorie Hass. “Even more, I know he appreciates that athletics at Austin College are also about building character and leadership, since the success we seek for our student-athletes occurs both on and off the playing field.”

Dawson has 20 years of coaching experience and is no stranger to the Austin College community. His association with Austin College started in 1987 when he played one season for the Kangaroos under legendary coach Mel Tjeerdsma. Dawson returned to the Austin College community in 2002, and through the 2007 season, served as the defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator, under previous head coaches David Norman and Ronnie Gage. Dawson also served as an assistant professor in the Austin College Department of Exercise and Sport Science.

“I am pleased that we are able to hire Loren into this critical leadership position for our football program,” said vice president for Student Affairs and Athletics Tim Millerick. “He emerged as our top candidate from a pool of applicants that was very strong right from the start of this process. His passion for NCAA Division III and Austin College are quite special. I am particularly impressed by Loren’s recruiting record in Texas throughout his career.”

Last season, Dawson’s Colorado School of Mines team finished the year with an 8-3 record and finished second in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with an 8-1 conference mark. In 2008, the Orediggers finished the season with an overall record of 8-4 and a 7-2 conference mark.

“Loren is going to do a great job down there,” said Stitt, who served as an assistant coach at Austin College from 1994-1998. “He’s definitely ready for this job and Austin College hired the right person. He’s a great guy, and Austin College is lucky to have him.”

A 1993 graduate of Arizona State University, Dawson also earned his master’s degree in education at ASU in 1998. Dawson served as a graduate assistant coaching the running backs at Midwestern State University in 1993 and 1994 before taking the role of head football coach at Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix for the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

From 1999-2002, Dawson served as the assistant head football coach at Phoenix College, where he also was the assistant athletic director as well as the team’s recruiting, special teams and strength and conditioning coordinators. Dawson also spent time at Phoenix College coaching the offensive line and linebackers. In addition, he coached the defensive backs. He also served as the team’s academic advisor.

In addition to his coaching experience, Dawson has been active in community service, including coordination of the Austin College football team’s community service efforts. He also volunteered as a coach for Sherman Youth Baseball and Texoma Youth Soccer and served on the Advisory Board for St. Mary’s Catholic School in Sherman. Dawson served in that same capacity for Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lakewood, Colorado.

Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

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