The Ragin’ Cajuns have decided to part ways with head coach Mark Hudspeth after seven years. Official reasons that have been given for the firing are inconsistent play, dwindling attendance, and declining financial support for the program. This comes on the heels of a beat down at the hands of Appalachian State, which wrapped up a disappointing season for the team. The Cajuns did not reach the six-game win threshold in order to become bowl eligible on the season.
Hudspeth ended up with a 51-38 record leading the team, but his “official” record is 29-38. The word “official” is used here because 22 of the team’s victories under Hudspeth were vacated due to ineligible student athletes participating in games betwwen 2011-2014. The team hasn’t finished above .500 since 2014. The last three years have been underwhelming to say the least.
The last few seasons have made Hudspeth’s hot start seem like ancient history, but he brought a lot of success in those years. During the first four seasons under his guidance the team went 9-4 every year. They were a force to be reckoned with in the Sun Belt, but that has since dissipated. The years following those 9-4 seasons were marred by controversy, and Hudspeth never quite got a chance to get the team rolling again before he was ousted.
There was no lack of talent on the roster this year, but the Cajuns seemed to be unable to muster the energy needed to overcome the on-field challenges this year. The entire season was stagnant, and a lot of the progress they were expected to make on both sides of the ball never really came to fruition.
Figuring out what it takes to get the players in a mindset to progress is a major part of the head coach’s job, and it seems that the Cajuns believe Hudspeth is no longer the man to do that in Lafayette.
Hudspeth did a lot for this program and though it ended on a sour note, his time spent in Lafayette will not be taken for granted. The Cajuns’ can produce a winner here and fan support should never be questioned, and that’s due to the Hudspeth’s time as the head coach.
Moving forward, AD Bryan Maggard says that there is no timetable for a new coaching hire, but that they will “certainly move swiftly.”