SAGU alum promoted to head coach

Photo courtesy SAGU Athletics

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Continuing their recent trend toward hiring a head football coach with a defensive background, SAGU named Jared Hudgins head coach on Friday. A former standout linebacker for the Lions, Hudgins began his second stint as an assistant coach for his alma mater when he was named defensive coordinator in 2021.

Hudgins becomes the ninth head coach in program history after former Dallas Cowboys standout Greg Ellis announced his resignation after leading the Lions to an 11-10 record and an appearance in the 2022 NCCAA Victory Bowl during his two seasons.

The hiring of Ellis indicated that SAGU was ready to shift the focus of its program from an offensive juggernaut to a team led by the defense. Hudgins continues the trend of defensive-minded coaches with the Lions competing in a Sooner Athletic Conference, quickly becoming one of the strongest in NAIA.

Hudgins is very familiar with Waxahachie, having left SAGU as the leading tackler in school history in 2010. His coaching career began as an assistant coach at Midland Christian before joining the Lions as an assistant under Frank Tristan, where he was named defensive coordinator in 2018. Hudgins was named head coach at Fort Worth Christian in 2019 and returned to SAGU in 2021.

"Jared Hudgins embraces SAGU and will bring continued stability, a positive student-athlete experience, and competitiveness to the program,” head coach of the Lions during Hudgins's playing career and current Athletic Director Dr. Jesse Godding said in a statement. “He has demonstrated success as a coordinator, understands recruiting to SAGU, and connects the Lion past and present. SAGU is committed to Christian discipleship of student-athletes and an athletic program that will strengthen the mission and values of SAGU and Jared will enhance that process."

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that President (Dr. Kermit) Bridges, Dr. Godding, the Executive Committee, and the Cabinet have given me to lead the SAGU Football Program," Hudgins said in the statement. "SAGU has been an influential place in my life. My walk with the Lord was deepened immensely here as a student-athlete, and I met lifelong friends in and out of athletics. This program changed the trajectory of my life. My prayer is that the student-athletes here get to experience similar events. I am grateful to my wife, Kaitlyn, whom I met at SAGU, and our daughters for living this coaching life with me at a place that means so much to us. I look forward to the future of SAGU Football and leading the young men on this team."

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