Thursday, December 3, 2015

Todd Whitten returns to Tarleton State to head football program

Also this ... Cary Fowler a candidate for Austin Peay HC job


Whitten: Let’s go win some games and have fun

From Brad Keith at

STEPHENVILLE (December 4, 2015) — Tarleton State football players, school administrators and supporters of the program crowded into the lobby of Wisdom Gym Friday morning as the university welcomed back the winningest football coach of its modern era.
Todd Whitten is back at Tarleton, his third stint as head coach at the school beginning with a press conference Friday morning. The university announced it was hiring Whitten Thursday afternoon. He coached the Texans to a 45-23 mark in 1996 and from 2000-04, winning a share of a Lone Star Conference championship and a national playoff game in 2001 and returning to the playoffs in 2004.
“Let’s go win some games and have fun,” said Whitten at the end of his speech in front of about 100 people in attendance and more listening on the Tarleton Sports Network. “How does that sound?”
“I believe to have a solid offense that you have to recruit a guy who can be a 1,000 yard rusher, a guy who can be a 3,000 yard passer and a wide out who can catch 1,000 yards, maybe a couple of them. Balance is the key word there,” said Whitten of his offense. “I’m going to adapt to what my guys can do. I’m not going to say, here’s what I do and by-golly, we’re going to do that every year.”
Whitten said he plans to hire a defensive coordinator “In the next month, roughly. Certainly when the next recruiting push rolls around we would like to have that in place, and I’d certainly like to think there’s an opportunity for some of our remaining staff to be a part of that as well.”
Whitten let the players in attendance know his basic expectations of them.
“These boys are going to go to school every day. That’s not negotiable,” said Whitten as he explained his three basic expectations. “We’re going to win. Somehow, some way, we’re going to find a way to win games on Saturday. And finally, we’re going to have fun. I will set this program up in a manner that you guys will enjoy going to that field house and getting on that turf.”

(Complete Story)


Whitten returning to Tarleton State as head coach

From Brad Keith at

STEPHENVILLE (December 3, 2015) — Tarleton State is bringing back the winningest coach in the history of its football program.
Todd Whitten will return to Tarleton for a third time as head coach. He guided the Texans to a 5-5 record in just their second year in the NCAA in 1996, and returned to lead them to a share of the Lone Star Conference championship and the Division II national quarterfinals in 2001 then the playoffs again in 2004.
Tarleton is holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Friday in Wisdom Gym to formally announce the hiring of Whitten, who holds an overall record of 45-23 at the school, including a 40-18 mark from 2000-04, when Tarleton also won a pair of LSC North Division titles.
“For me, what sets him apart from a pool of very good applicants are his experience and what he’s proven he can do here at Tarleton,” said athletic director Lonn Reisman in a brief exclusive telephone interview with The Flash Thursday afternoon. “He’s already the winningest coach in the history of our program, he has won division and conference championships here and he has taken us into the national spotlight. We’re bringing Todd home to get us back into that spotlight again.”


From the Tarleton State Athletic Website

Four-time LSC Coach of the Year Whitten returns to Tarleton as head coach

STEPHENVILLE – A familiar face makes his return to Stephenville as the winningest coach of Tarleton State University's NCAA era, Todd Whitten, returns to the Texan sidelines.

In a news conference tomorrow morning, December 4, at 9:30 a.m. Athletic Director Lonn Reismanwill announce the selection of Whitten as head football coach. Reisman and Whitten will be joined by Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio at the announcement in the lobby of Wisdom Gym.

This marks the 28th head coaching change in the history of Tarleton football, as Whitten is one of 24 different men to lead the Texans. He now joins legendary coach W.J. Wisdom as one of two coaches with three different tenures as Tarleton's head football coach.

"I feel like I'm coming home," said Whitten. "I'm very excited to be back at Tarleton. This is a very special place and it's an incredible job. I'm very thankful to be chosen."

Whitten, a 27-year veteran at the collegiate coaching level, has been a head coach for 11 years, including six years at Tarleton (1996, 2000-04) and the following five seasons at Division I Sam Houston State.

He currently boasts an NCAA coaching record of 70-51 for a winning percentage of .579. His record at Tarleton is 45-23 (.662), which gives him the second-most total wins in school history behind Wisdom (71) and the fourth-highest winning percentage (.662). He also has a career record of 26-8 (.765) on the home turf of Memorial Stadium in Stephenville.

"I am very confident in Todd Whitten's ability to win football games and reestablish our program into a contender – not just in the Lone Star Conference, but on the national level," said Reisman. "In his career, Whitten has shown the ability to rebuild programs and make them very competitive.

"He brings a wealth of experience as a head coach at the Division I and Division II levels," continued Reisman. "He is an innovator, he is creative, and he has one of the most tremendous offensive minds in the country. I have all the confidence in the world that Todd will bring enthusiasm and energy to our football program."

During his first two stints at Tarleton, Whitten was no stranger to awards and championships.

Before taking over the program in 1996 for one season, Tarleton had a record of 4-16-1 since joining the NCAA in 1994. Whitten turned things around following a 1-10 season in 1995 by leading the Texans to a 5-5 record in his first season, which was enough to garner him the LSC Coach of the Year award for that season.

After spending the next three seasons as a Division I offensive coordinator, Whitten came back to the Purple and White as the 25th head coach in school history for the 2000 season – and once again, he was asked to turn things around after the Texans went 12-21 in the three seasons between Whitten's tenures.

The veteran coach made his presence known by delivering Tarleton its first winning season as an NCAA institution in 2000.  He followed suit with a Lone Star Conference championship and the school's first trip to the NCAA postseason in 2001. That season, he was also named the LSC South Division Coach of the Year, the West Region Coach of the Year and led Tarleton to a playoff win against Chadron State.

The good times continued to roll over the next three seasons under Whitten as Tarleton boasted a record of 24-10 from 2002-04 with back-to-back LSC North Division championships and Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and 2003 and another NCAA playoff appearance in the latter season. He went 7-4 in his final season at Tarleton and ended his second stint as Texan football coach on a four-game winning streak.

In his total time at Tarleton, Whitten has amassed four LSC Coach of the Year honors, one Region Coach of the Year award, three LSC Championships in consecutive seasons, two trips to the NCAA playoffs in addition to coaching 13 NCAA Division II All-Americans and 80 all-LSC selections.

Since leaving Tarleton after the 2004 season, Whitten has spent time at Sam Houston State, Lamar University, Arlington Heights High School, and for the past three seasons was the wide receivers coach for the University of Texas at El Paso. During his time as head coach at Sam Houston State, he coached eight NCAA Division I All-Americans, 63 all-conference selections, and boasted back-to-back 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in school history.

A native of Dallas, Whitten graduated from Dallas Kimball High School in 1983 before heading to Stephen F. Austin State University, where he competed as a dual-sport athlete in baseball and football. He was inducted to the Stephen F. Austin Hall of Fame in 2001. Following his college career, he signed a free agent contract to play quarterback for the New England Patriots where he spent the 1987 season before returning to school for his master's degree at Texas Tech. He then began his coaching career with the Red Raiders in 1988 as a graduate assistant coach.

Whitten and his wife, Dana, have four children – Brady, Blaze, Maddie, and Tate, who is a wide receiver on the Tarleton football team.

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