|Justin Charles has spent his entire coaching career as an assistant at Louisiana College.
Louisiana College athletics photo
Following the departure of Dennis Dunn, Louisiana College president Rick Brewer announced the college's new athletic director and head football coach during a news conference April 27.
Promoting from within, Brewer named football defensive coordinator Justin Charles to the head coaching position.
LC was 4-6 last season, 1-5 in American Southwest Conference games.
"God takes men of integrity, conscience, character and conviction and raises them to levels of influence," Brewer said.
Alluding to outgoing head coach Dennis Dunn, Brewer said Charles "has some big shoes to fill."
Dunn was recently named head football coach at Pineville High School after an impressive 11-year stint at LC.
"I bleed orange and blue," said Charles, a former defensive back and explosive kick returner for the Wildcats. "For me, it's an opportunity to coach my alma mater. There's nothing more prestigious than that."
Charles has spent his entire coaching career at Louisiana College beginning in 2005 as an assistant.
"We have 17 seniors coming back who have started for us," Charles said. "They've been through a lot of close games. What our kids have to understand is we have to play through the fourth quarter. It's all about finishing for us this year."
Senior defensive end Cade Maxwell said, "Coach JC, to me, epitomizes what LC football is about." He's been here for more than 10 years. He's very intelligent and has a mind for defensive schemes. He's laid the foundation through hard work. I know we will reap a harvest from the work he's put in."
"It's not just about football for Coach JC," Maxwell added. "He cares just as much about the individual. The whole team absolutely loves him. I love him."
A local news outlet, the Baptist Message, reported that Charles stated during his introductory news conference that one of his goals is to beat Mary Hardin-Baylor in football.
In an interview with The Town Talk newspaper, junior quarterback D'Ondre Joseph said hiring Charles was "a great step for the program."
"This can bring us over all the obstacles we've had the last two years," he said. "I feel like this will help us win some games, and maybe bring home a championship."
In news conference remarks, Reni Mason, the men's basketball coach who has had athletic director added to his duties, noted Dunn's role as AD and head football coach, saying, "I think that moving forward, Coach Dunn set the stage for how things needed to go and how things needed to be done. We want to try to have a seamless transition. One of the best things the athletic department has is that it has relationships. We have a unit that is already in place in terms of how we go about our business. It's important we continue on that path."
"We did not promote from within because of convenience or expediency," Brewer said in an interview with LCNews. "Both Reni and Justin have proven themselves in their athletic endeavors, their commitment to our students' academic performance, and, most important, to the spiritual development across this campus. They will continue to help us a we prepare graduates and transform lives."