Lenoir-Rhyne coach Mike Houston meets with Citadel; Navy assistant reportedly withdraws from search

Mike Houston

Lenoir-Rhyne coach Mike Houston met with The Citadel's search committee and other officials Monday morning as the military school drew closer to naming a new football coach.

Houston met with Citadel officials at the Holliday Alumni Center across the street from Johnson Hagood Stadium. He spent the day on campus and visited the football offices at Seignious Hall.

Athletic director Larry Leckonby said no offer has been made, but that The Citadel is close to naming a coach.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel," he said Monday night. "The end is in sight. We have finished with personal interviews and reviewed those with the search committee. The next step is to take a recommendation to the president (Lt. Gen. John Rosa)."

Houston, 42, just finished his third season as head coach at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, leading the Bears to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the national championship game. The 1994 Mars Hill graduate has been named South Atlantic Conference coach of the year twice, and owns a record of 29-8 in three seasons at Lenoir-Rhyne. He was defensive coordinator at Lenoir-Rhyne for four years and also coached on the college level at Brevard.

A year ago, Lenoir-Rhyne extended his contract through the 2016 season.

Navy assistant Ashley Ingram was one of three finalists for The Citadel job; he reportedly withdrew from consideration today. The third finalist is Air Force assistant Clay Hendrix.

Former Citadel coach Kevin Higgins resigned Dec. 16 to become an assistant coach at Wake Forest.

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