(Submitted Photo/Courtesy of Southeastern Louisiana University Athletics)
Scelfo officially announces 2018 SLU football coaching staff
Southeastern Louisiana first-year head football coach Frank Scelfo officially announced his coaching staff for the upcoming 2018 season Thursday.
All hires are pending approval from the University of Louisiana System’s Board of Supervisors.
Scelfo’s staff features three holdovers from former head coach Ron Roberts’ staff. Returning for 2018 are Greg Stevens (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Brandon Lacy (assistant head coach/defensive line/run game coordinator) and Travis Mikel (offensive guards/centers).
Stevens will oversee an offensive staff that includes Mikel, Garret Chachere (running backs/pass game coordinator), Michael Spurlock (wide receivers/special teams coordinator) and A.J. Hopp (tight ends/offensive tackles).
Coming in to run the defense is new defensive coordinator Louie Cioffi. Cioffi’s staff on the defensive side includes Lacy, Patterson High alum Tarence Calais (defensive backs/recruiting coordinator) and Chris Lachney (linebackers).
Scelfo said he is excited about what his new staff brings to the table.
“We have a really good mix of youth and experience with our 2018 coaching staff,” Scelfo said in a news release. “We have two experienced, successful coordinators in Coach Stevens and Coach Cioffi, who I have a lot of confidence in. They’ve done a great job getting us organized and heading in the right direction on both sides of the ball.”
During his transition into the Lions’ head coaching position, Scelfo was impressed with Stevens, Lacy and Mikel and wanted them to remain in Hammond as part of his first staff.
“The period between when I was hired and signing day was a great opportunity for me to evaluate the staff,” Scelfo said in the release. “Coach Stevens, Coach Mikel and Coach Lacy stood out for the way they interacted with the student-athletes and their recruiting ability. I really got a sense of what great people they were, and I’m excited to have all three of them part of our new staff.”
Quality of character was No. 1 on Scelfo’s list when filling his meeting rooms.
“Great people make great coaches,” Scelfo said in the release. “We have a staff full of great people who are husbands and fathers that are able to relate to our student-athletes and help them make the transition from boyhood to manhood.
“Because of the quality of coaches and student-athletes we have here, we’re seeing those bonds already form and the trust on both sides being solidified more each day,” Scelfo added. “It’s been really cool to see those coach-player relationships mesh during these first two weeks of spring practice.”
Stevens returned to Hammond in January for his second stint as offensive coordinator after spending the previous four seasons at Eastern Illinois. Stevens was at SLU for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, mentoring 2013 Southland Conference Player of the Year Bryan Bennett and overseeing the most prolific offense in school history, which helped the Lions to their first-ever FCS playoff appearance.
Cioffi comes to Hammond with more than two decades of experience as a NFL assistant coach. Cioffi spent time on the defensive staffs of the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets. Among the players he’s coached are Pro Bowlers Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, Adrian Wilson and T.J. Ward.
Lacy will enter his 10th season on the Southeastern coaching staff and his third as assistant head coach. He has mentored 11 All-Southland Conference performers during his tenure in Hammond.
Calais comes to Hammond after a stint as the defensive coordinator at East Texas Baptist University.
The Patterson native played collegiately at Louisiana Tech and went on to play for the Calgary Stampede (CFL) and Pittsburgh Power (AFL).
Chachere, a New Orleans native, comes to Hammond with nearly three decades of collegiate coaching experience. Most recently, the offensive coordinator at New Mexico Highlands, Chachere’s career include stops at California, Southern Miss, Arizona, Tulane, UL Monroe and Tulane, among others.
Mikel will move into his sixth season as a member of the Southeastern Louisiana coaching staff. During his time in Hammond, he’s coached 10 All-Southland performers, including All-Americans Maea Teuhema and Taylor Gadbois.
Spurlock comes to Hammond after spending the 2017 season on the staff with Scelfo at UTSA.
An eight-year NFL veteran, Spurlock was an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss and was a wide receiver and return specialist for the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
A 2003 SLU graduate, Lachney most recently was the head coach at Riverside Academy in Reserve before returning to his alma mater.
The Slidell native also has had coaching stops at Brother Martin High School and Pope John Paul II High School, where he also coached his high school alma mater to eight state powerlifting championships.
Hopp comes to Hammond after spending time on the staffs at Houston, Mississippi State and Florida Atlantic. The Akron, Ohio native was a Division II Academic All-American offensive tackle at Slippery Rock.