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John Scimeca

A local name that has popped on the radar in Tulane’s headcoaching search is Mark Hudspeth, the head coach atLouisiana-Lafayette. Hudspeth, who was hired at ULL last December,has led the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 6-2 record so far in his firstseason – doubling the team’s win total from 2010. Prior toHudspeth’s arrival, ULL finished 3-9 overall. Before this year,Hudspeth served as an assistant at Mississippi State. The fact thatHudspeth has four additional years left on his contract with anannual base salary of $360,000 is a concern.

If Hudspeth were to take over as the Green Wave boss, he wouldbring his spread offense with him. Both his previous stops atDivision II North Alabama and Mississippi State featured awide-open passing attack. During his seven years as head coach atNorth Alabama, Hudspeth compiled an impressive 66-21 record,including three Division II semifinal appearances.

Hudspeth is young – two weeks shy of his 43rd birthday – andrelatively new to the coaching ranks of NCAA Division I. His 6-2start at Louisiana-Lafayette speaks volumes about his potential forhis immediate impact at a new location. There is no guarantee,however, that if Hudspeth actually accepts a Tulane coaching offer,he would not view the job as a stepping-stone. The pressingquestion remains whether the move from Louisiana-Lafayette toTulane become a sideways career step. A Green Wave pursuit of thisyoung coach could reveal the answer.