No. 16 La.-Lafayette promotes OC Desormeaux to head coach

FILE - Louisiana Lafayette quarterback Michael Desormeaux, right, is tackled by Tennessee's Jerod Mayo, left, during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007, in Knoxville, Tenn. No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette promoted co-offensive coordinator and former Ragin' Cajuns quarterback Michael Desormeaux to head coach on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
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LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette promoted co-offensive coordinator and former Ragin' Cajuns quarterback Michael Desormeaux to head coach on Sunday.

The announcement by athletic director Bryan Maggard came less than 24 hours after Billy Napier won his final game as Cajuns coach in the Sun Belt Conference championship game, 24-16 over Appalachian State.

Napier was hired a week ago by Florida but took the job on the condition that he be permitted to coach the Sun Belt title game before heading to Gainesville.

Desormeaux played at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2005-08 and has been on the Ragin’ Cajuns’ staff for the last six seasons.

After serving as an interim head coach in 2017, Desormeaux was retained by Napier in 2018 and has been on the staff for the greatest run of success in ULL history. The Cajuns are 40-12 combined during the past four seasons and have cracked the AP Top 25 in each of the past two seasons.

Louisiana-Lafayette (12-1) will finish this season with a fourth straight bowl game when they meet Marshall (7-5) in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 18.

“We looked both internally and externally and it became very evident that not only is Mike Desormeaux ready to be a head coach, but he is the right head coach for our program now," Maggard said. “Mike has amazing relationships with every member of our nationally ranked team and is highly respected by the high school football coaches in the state of Louisiana.”

The Cajuns' offense ranked third in the Sun Belt in both scoring offense (31.2) and total offense (397.6) this season, during which ULL also won a school-record 12 straight games.

“I am a Ragin’ Cajun through and through, so to get this unbelievable opportunity is humbling to say the least," said Desormeaux, a native of New Iberia, Louisiana, who also coached in the state at the high school level.

As a ULL player, Desormeaux passed for 3,893 yards and 23 touchdowns while rushing for 2,843 yards and 16 scores. In 2007, he became the eighth quarterback in NCAA history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

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