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|Daye staff, recruits have Louisiana flavor|
Missouri Southern's football team has a definite Louisiana flavor.
And that starts at the top with head football coach and Ferriday native Daryl Daye.
Daye, who was named head football coach at MSSU last December after two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, filled his coaching staff with five assistant coaches with Louisiana backgrounds and his first recruiting class has seven players from Louisiana.
"Just call us Bayou North," Daye said. "I am very proud of my coaching staff. We didn't have the opportunity everybody else did as far as recruiting. We did in about three weeks what everyone else had nine months to do. I think it is tremendous was we were able to pull off. We had to go after players our coaches had ties with because we are not familiar with this area yet and a lot of the players had already been recruited. We were more effective going to Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi."
Daye will have veteran coaches in both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions. Bob Howell will be the offensive coordinator, while longtime friend Jay Thomas will run the defense and will be Daye's assistant head coach.
Thomas joined Daye in Ferriday when a golf tournament was held in support of the Nicholls State football team at Panola Woods Country Club.
"It would be nice to have another one of those for Missouri Southern," Daye said.
Thomas comes to Southern two seasons at Northwestern (La.) State University as the Assistant Head Coach in charge of the defensive line. This past year, Thomas coached two All-Southland Conference defensive linemen, and in his first year at NSU, his entire starting four were named All-Conference.
Thomas served as the defensive coordinator for Daye while Daye was the head coach at Nicholls State and was later the head coach at Nicholls for five seasons, earning Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award after leading Nicholls to a 6-4 overall record that included being SLC co-champions.
"I know what Jay brings to the table," Daye said.
Howell comes to Southern after more than nine years as an athletic administrator and head coach at two high schools in Louisiana. He most recently served as the athletic director and head coach at Plaquemine High School where he led his team to four playoff appearances.
Kevin Carey will be the offensive line coach for Southern and comes to the Lions after two seasons as the head coach at Frontenac (Kan.) High School.
Dustin Gisclair comes to Southern from Nicholls State and will coach the Linebackers.
Gisclair spent two seasons with the Colonels under the direction of Thomas and previous to that he spent a season at Louisiana-Lafayette where he was a graduate assistant working on the defensive side of the ball.
Prior to his time with the Ragin' Cajuns, Gisclair was a student coach at Nicholls for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Rashad Watson comes to Missouri Southern after serving two seasons coaching the defense at Benedict College. Previosuly Watson has served on the staffs at Nicholls State, Morehouse, as well as five years at the high school level in Alabama.
Jake Landoll comes to Missouri Southern after spending a season at Northwestern State University. Landoll will be responsible for assisting Jay Thomas with the defensive line. While at Northwestern, Landoll helped coach two All-Southland Conference players on the defensive line. He also spent a season at his alma mater St. Mary as an assistant coach.
Daye served as an assistant coach at MSSU before taking a coaching position under Chan Gailey at Buffalo.
"It's not about me, it's us and we," Daye said. "All of the coaches bring something to the table. We will be physical and run the triple option offense and be multiple attacking on defense, which is what we built our reputation on at Nicholls State."
Among the Louisiana players are Woodlawn linebacker Ryan Briggs; Deondre Philson of Plaquemine, a cornerback who played his high school football for Howel; running back Kenneth Armant of Vacherie who played at St. James; Dillan Dent, who played quarterback and cornerback at Destrehan; Marcus Hall, a running back from St. Charles High; Dana Hendrix, a fullback from Ponchatoula; quarterback John McDowell of Covington and defensive lineman Chris Williams of B rather Martin.
Daye said he has been shocked at the changes in college football since he has been out of it.
"I'm out of it a couple of years and I'm looking at it and thinking, 'They are in that conference now,'" he said.
Daye said he would also like to play a school from around his hometown in the future, but right now Delta State would probably be the only one the size of MSSU.
"I would love to be able to do that," he said.
Daye also shared his disappointment with LSU's performance against Alabama in the BCS contest.
"They had already beaten Alabama that year and people do not realize how difficult it is beating a team like that twice in one year," he said.
Daye's father, Donnie Daye, was part of the 1959 LSU football team that went 9-1 during the regular season, beating Ole Miss 7-3 on Billy Cannon's punt return. But the Tigers lost to Ole Miss 21-0 that season in the Sugar Bowl.
"The players did not want to play them again," Daye said. "That is difficult to do against a quality opponent."
Daye said the MSSU spring game will be held on April 21.
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