UTC Mocs football coach Russ Huesman is leaving his alma mater to return to the place he once served as a defensive coordinator. The University of Richmond confirmed on Wednesday morning it has hired Huesman to be its next head football coach.
“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. “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.”
READ MORE | Who will replace Huesman at UTC?
Huesman came to Chattanooga in 2009, promising to “Restore the Glory.” He did. He earned SoCon Coach of the Year honors three times and was a three-time National Coach of the Year Award finalist.
UTC's record under Huesman was 59-37 with three Southern Conference regular season championships. Chattanooga is one of only 10 programs in the country to reach the FCS Playoffs in each of the past three seasons. Despite consistent success for the first time in more than three decades, the Mocs fan base was inconsistent in its support.
"We've got to really step up and not have 5,000 people there," Huesman said before the Mocs first round playoff game this year.
"Whether it's Thanksgiving weekend or not. I don't care. We need great representation out there Saturday."
5,238 showed up. The Mocs won.
Sources have told Channel 3's Paul Shahen that Huesman was in talks with Richmond for about a week and those talks grew more serious Monday morning when Richmond head coach Danny Rocco left for Delaware.
It wasn’t long before Richmond had an offer extended to Huesman. UTC quickly responded with a counteroffer. Neither salary has been confirmed. Rocco was making nearly $440,000 at Richmond, Huesman was at approximately $230,000.
“We’re excited to have Coach Huesman rejoin the Spider family, I’d like to thank Dr. Crutcher for his tremendous leadership and guidance throughout this process,” Director of Athletics Keith Gill said. “Russ Huesman has an excellent understanding of what it takes to be successful here at Richmond, including our expectations of excellence in the classroom and on the gridiron. He was instrumental in our 2008 football national championship so he understands our culture of success.”
Huesman served as Richmond’s defensive coordinator 2004-2008. He led what was called the “Stonewall Defense” to a National Championship win over Montana in Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium in 2008.
Chattanooga hired him shortly after that win. Richmond hired him back 8 years later.