Arkansas State assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Walt Bell has turned down an offer to be Louisiana-Monroe’s new head coach, according to a source.
Had the 31-year-old Bell accepted, he would have become the FBS’s youngest head coach. This year was his second in his positions at Arkansas State, which won the Sun Belt championship with a 9–3 record.
One of college football’s brightest young minds, Bell spent the last five seasons working with up-and-coming Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson. Under Bell’s up-tempo, spread offense this season, the Red Wolves are 10th nationally in scoring offense (41 points per game). Last season, Arkansas State broke single-season school records for total yardage (6,194), points scored (477) and total plays (1,024).
Before joining the Red Wolves, Bell was North Carolina’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for two seasons. He coached wide receivers at Southern Miss in 2011 after a season as an offensive graduate assistant for the Golden Eagles. Bell spent ’09 as a quality control coach at Oklahoma State following two years as a graduate assistant at Memphis.
A Dickson, Tenn., native, he also worked at Louisiana-Lafayette in the spring of 2007 after being a wide receiver at Middle Tennessee State from ’03–06.
Louisiana-Monroe fired former coach Todd Berry last month after a 59–21 loss to Arkansas State and Bell. Berry had a 1–9 record at the time of his firing. The Warhawks finished 2–11 this season, including a 1–7 mark in the Sun Belt, and had one of the FBS’s worst offenses, ranking 123rd in total offense (310.8 yards per game).
Berry had a 28–43 record in his six seasons at Louisiana-Monroe with a lone bowl appearance in 2012.