McFarland Named Head Football Coach
Dec. 13, 2004
NACOGDOCHES, Texas-- Stephen F. Austin State University athletics director Steve McCarty announced today that Robert McFarland has been named head coach of the Lumberjack football program. McFarland becomes the school's 17th head football coach and will take over the program immediately.
"It gives me great pleasure to introduce Robert McFarland as the next head football coach at Stephen F. Austin. I believe Coach McFarland possesses all the qualities we are looking for in a new head coach and will do an outstanding job in leading the Lumberjack football program to greater heights. Robert has close ties to SFA and his ties to Texas high school football have remained strong," said McCarty.
McFarland comes to SFA after spending the past season at East Carolina University as the offensive line coach. Prior to that he spent four seasons as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida. During his stay at Central Florida, McFarland's offensive unit was ranked 11th in the nation in total offense and sixth in the nation in pass offense in 2002. The Knights averaged over 436 yards of offense and 32 points per game in 2002.
His offensive unit produced two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in 2002, only the eighth time in NCAA history a team has accomplished that feat.
Central Florida finished ninth in the nation among I-A teams in passing offense in 2001 and was 12th in the nation in passing offense in 2000. During his stay in Orlando, McFarland coached six student-athletes that went on to the NFL.
A former Lumberjack assistant coach, McFarland was the offensive line coach at SFA from 1991 through the 1999 season. During his earlier stint with the `Jacks, SFA claimed two NCAA playoff appearances and a Southland title in 1999. The `Jacks advanced to the semifinals of the I-AA playoffs in 1995. SFA led the league in rushing offense four times with McFarland's offensive line leading the way. SFA also set single season records for rushing yards (2,913 yards - 1993) and rushing touchdowns (30 - 1999) while McFarland was a Lumberjack assistant. Four of his former offensive linemen also went on to NFL camps.
Prior to coming to SFA, the 43-year old McFarland made coaching stops at Kent State, Notre Dame and Clemson, coaching teams in the Citrus Bowl, Gator Bowl and Orange Bowl. He has recruited Texas high schools and junior colleges throughout his career and recruited Texas for both Central Florida and East Carolina.
"I stand here today both excited and honored to be the head coach at Stephen F. Austin. I've spent 19 years preparing for the opportunity to be a head coach, and I feel I'm ready for this challenge. I've had some great mentors along the way, men like Lou Holtz at Notre Dame and Danny Ford at Clemson. I've learned from every head coach I've ever worked for and I've been able to take something from them in preparing me to be a head coach and lead my own team," said McFarland.
McFarland and his wife, Pam, are the parents to two children, Ashley, 14, and Koy, 9. ™