Viator signs 2-year contract extension with ULM through 2020 season
ULM ranked among the NCAA FBS Top 25 in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense in 2017.
MONROE, La. – ULM head football coach Matt Viator has signed a 2-year contract extension through the 2020 season, according to a joint announcement made Friday, Feb. 2 by President Dr. Nick J. Bruno and Athletics Director Nick Floyd. Viator’s contract extension is pending approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
All other components of the contract remain the same.
ULM has posted back-to-back 4-8 seasons under Viator; however, the Warhawks displayed significant improvement in 2017, losing four games by 10 points or less. ULM also produced a .500 record (4-4) in Sun Belt games last season after going 3-5 in 2016.
In 2017, ULM ranked among the Sun Belt leaders in total offense (second at 458.2 yards per game), scoring offense (second at 33.9 points per game), passing offense (third at 287.9 ypg.) and rushing offense (fourth at 170.3 ypg.). The Warhawks also ranked among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leaders in total offense (No. 21), passing offense (No. 24), scoring offense (No. 25) and passing efﬁciency (No. 29 with a 146.2 rating).
“We’re so excited about the direction of the ULM football program under the leadership of Matt Viator,” Dr. Bruno said. “Continuity is critical for on-the-field success, so with the contract extension, we wanted to recognize and reward Coach Viator for the stability, promise and momentum, he has brought to our program. There’s no question that he’s positioning ULM for long-term success.”
“It was vital to acknowledge Coach Viator for the progress the program has made in two short years, but most importantly, we wanted to ensure continuity and set the Warhawk football program up for sustained success,” Floyd said.
“ULM made significant strides in his second season, and we were competitive in every game. With a few breaks, the 2017 team could have entered the final weeks of the regular season in contention for the conference title as well as a postseason bowl bid.
“Under Coach Viator’s leadership, we know the future of Warhawk football is in very good hands, and we share in his vision of building a championship-caliber program.”
“I want to thank Dr. Bruno and Nick Floyd for the confidence they have in our football program,” Viator said. “In these first two seasons, we’ve established a solid foundation for the program and we’re headed in the right direction. We know there are many challenges ahead, but we look forward to reaching our ultimate goals of competing for Sun Belt Championships and playing in bowl games.”
Last season, ULM produced ﬁve 200-yard rushing games, including a season-high 307 yards at South Alabama (41 rushing attempts).
The Warhawks amassed 500 yards total offense or more in ﬁve games in 2017: at Louisiana Lafayette (season-high 593), at Texas State (589), at Idaho (509), vs. Appalachian State (569) and vs. Arkansas State (590).
ULM scored 50 or more points in a school single-season record four games in 2017 (previous record: 1992), including its last two home games against Appalachian State (W, 52-45) and Arkansas State (L, 50-67). Earlier last season, ULM scored 50-plus points in back-to-back games (56 at Louisiana Lafayette and 51 vs. Coastal Carolina) for the ﬁrst time since October 1992 (52 points each vs. Delta State and McNeese State).
In addition, junior Marcus Green became only the second ULM player to earn first-, second- or third-team All-America recognition since the program moved to the NCAA FBS (formerly known as Division I-A) in 1994. The 5-foot-8, 191-pound Green was named Second-Team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (all-purpose player), Sporting News (athlete), CollegeFootballNews.com (kick returner) and Pro Football Focus (kick returner). He also was named to the All-Sun Belt First Team as both a return specialist and all-purpose player, as selected by the league’s head football coaches and media panel.
Viator welcomes back 18 starters from the 2017 team, including nine on offense, eight on defense and one specialist.
ULM opens spring practice on Friday, March 16, with the spring game scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at 12 p.m.
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