FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — In an unusual turn of events, Northern Arizona University president Rita Cheng announced Monday that Jerome Souers will continue to serve as the Lumberjacks’ football coach. Cheng’s announcement also indicated that defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Andy Thompson will be promoted to associate head coach.
The news comes days after it was learned that athletic director Lisa Campos will leave NAU in January to become athletic director at Texas-San Antonio.
Campos had announced in September, after NAU had lost its first two games, that this season, Souers’ 20th as head coach, would be his last. Though the Lumberjacks lost their season finale to Southern Utah, they finished with a 7-4 record (6-2 in the Big Sky Conference) and qualified for the Football Championship Series playoffs for the first time since 2013. They will host the University of San Diego on Saturday at the Walkup Skydome.
“Maintaining stability in the athletics department is extremely important as NAU begins its search for a new athletics director,” Cheng said. “It will be a key consideration for those interested in NAU’s athletics director position to know they are walking into a strong and stable program and will have the time and ability to make coaching decisions.”
Souers, 59, has a 119-107 career record at NAU. He holds Big Sky records for overall wins, conference wins (82) and number of years as head coach. Thompson has been on Souers’ staff for 13 years.