Richmond hires Huesman away from Chattanooga

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(STATS) - Russ Huesman played football at Chattanooga and has been the Mocs' head coach since 2009. He also was part of an FCS national championship win in the Tennessee city.

But that win occurred in 2008 when he was the defensive coordinator at Richmond, and he's headed back there after the CAA Football member announced his hiring as head coach Wednesday, just one day after Danny Rocco left to take over at Delaware.

An afternoon news conference was scheduled on campus.

Richmond acted swiftly in hiring the 56-year-old Huesman, who revitalized his alma mater's program. He was 59-37 in eight seasons with the Mocs, and over the last four years they won three Southern Conference titles and made three straight appearances in the playoffs.

He spent five seasons at Richmond, beginning in 2004 and capped with the 24-7 win over Montana in the 2008 national championship game in Chattanooga. That led into his first head coaching job the next season at Chattanooga.

"I'm excited to return to Richmond, a place that my family and I dearly love, for the opportunity to be the head coach of this incredibly successful football program," Huesman said. "I'm very appreciative of President (Ronald A.) Crutcher and (athletic director) Keith Gill for putting their belief in me and allowing me this chance to work with such a tremendous group of young men. The commitment of this university and the athletic department to its football program is evident through the recent success and I look forward to building on that success at even greater heights."

Richmond went 43-22 under Rocco over the last five seasons, reaching the national semifinals a year ago for the first time since the 2008 championship campaign.

The Spiders were knocked out of this year's quarterfinals last Saturday, completing a 10-4 season.

Huesman has nearly 20 years of coaching experience in the CAA as he also spent the 1984-97 seasons at William & Mary as an assistant. He was an assistant on the FBS level at South Carolina (1983-84) and Memphis (1998-2003).

In the 2008 national championship season, Huesman's defensive unit was nicknamed the "Stonewall Defense." The Spiders led the FCS in interceptions and finished in the top 10 in four other defensive categories.

"This university demands excellence both athletically and academically and we look forward to holding our student-athletes to the highest standard," Huesman said. "I believe in this program and am excited to get to work."