The new era of Concord football has begun as former offensive coordinator Brian Ferguson was named Head Coach following Dave Walker’s resignation. Coming off an astounding 9-2 season where the Mountain Lions barely missed the NCAA Division II playoffs, Coach Ferguson and the Mountain Lions plan to keep the train rolling into the 23 season.
The journey to get here for Ferguson was one centered around football. Ferguson, who formally played DII football himself, has a plethora of coaching experience. He has been a part of multiple coaching levels such as the NFL, Arena football, Division I, and Division II. If its organized football, chances are Ferguson has been there and done that.
A number of D1 and DII programs, as well as NFL teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, and Jacksonville Jaguars, contributed to Ferguson’s development as an offensive wizard. In his three-year tenure at the university as the offensive coordinator, Concord has averaged 31.5 points a game while having three offensive players named to the top 100 DII players list. (Jarod Bowie, Jack Mangel, Tywan Pearce) Just last year, Concord’s offensive unit ranked top 10 nationally in total offense.
However, in his new role, there are some new challenges to tackle. According to Ferguson, the main difference he has experienced as a head coach is making sure his new coaching staff is performing at their best. A brand-new coaching staff that Ferguson was handed the task of hiring.
Concord was voted 4th in the MEC preseason coaches’ poll despite losing the top wideout in the country due to transfer (D1 Jacksonville State) in Jarod Bowie. Although, they return Jack Mangle, a senior signal caller who passed for over 3,500 yards and 39 touchdowns last year. Mangel is also on the 22 players list that could win the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is rewarded to the best player in Division II football. They also return key contributors such as Kris Copeland and Thurlow Wilkins. However, when asked about expectations for the upcoming year, Ferguson thought bigger picture.
It is evident that new Head Coach Brian Ferguson is trying to create a new culture within the program while trying to compete for a national championship. That journey begins September 2nd when the Mountain Lions will welcome Emory and Henry to Callaghan Stadium. Concord won the only meeting between the two schools last year by a score of 27-20.
by Seth Ross