CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Mike Houston has left The Citadel after 2 seasons to take the head coaching job at James Madison. Both schools released a statement on Monday afternoon with the official press conference to come Tuesday afternoon.
"I'm thankful for my time at The Citadel and the support given to us by Jim Senter, Gen. Rosa and Capt. Paulso." Houston said in a statement released by The Citadel. "We were able to lay the foundation for success, and I have no doubt they will continue building to reach the next level. After being approached about the job at James Madison, the more research I did and the more people I met there it became obvious to me that this was a fantastic opportunity. The Citadel will always be a special place because of the relationships my family and I developed, and I wish the cadet-athletes, coaches and staff the best moving forward."
In his 2 years in Charleston, Houston led the Bulldogs to a 14-11 record including a share of the SoCon title in 2015. He because the 1st coach in school history to lead the school to a conference title in his 1st 2 seasons. The team went 9-4 last year including an upset win over South Carolina in Columbia and a birth in the FCS playoffs for the 1st time since 1992. The Dogs would earn a postseason win in Coastal Carolina before having their season ended by cross town rivals Charleston Southern in the 2nd round.
"I'm happy for Coach Houston and appreciate the contributions he made to our program." The Citadel's AD Jim Senter said in a statement. "He has established a foundation which we can build upon for future success. We wish Mike and his family the best as they start their new endeavors at James Madison. We will move as quickly as possible to find the perfect fit for The Citadel."
"I am thrilled to welcome Mike Houston as the next football head coach at James Madison," James Madison Director of Athletics James Bourne said. "Mike has been a fast riser in the coaching ranks with success turning programs around at the Division II and FCS levels. His pedigree for winning and ability to lead young men make him the perfect fit to build upon the foundation already in place at JMU."
Prior to The Citadel, Houston was head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, a NCAA Division II school in the South Atlantic Conference, for three seasons. He accumulated a 29-8 record at the helm and directed the Bears to three consecutive SAC championships, a stretch that included a school-record 13 wins in his final year. Houston was named SAC Coach of the Year each season and was also the Don Hansen Super Region II Coach of the Year in 2013. In his final season at LRU, the Bears advanced to the Division II national championship game and ranked No. 2 in the final polls.
Before his elevation to head coach, Houston served as Lenoir-Rhyne's defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 2007-10. He spent the 2006 year as associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Brevard College.
Houston began his coaching career in the high school ranks. He coached for a decade at T.C. Roberson High School, including the last five as head coach, where he went 42-18 and helped the team to its first-ever conference championship. He spent his first five seasons at T.C. Roberson as the defensive coordinator after leading the defense at Forbush High School in his first two years out of college.