Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry has emerged as the favorite in Louisiana-Lafayette’s search for a new head coach, a source told SI. One of the challenges for the ULL job, as it is for some Group of Five head coaching searches, is managing the economics of trying to hire away a coordinator from a top FBS program where that candidate probably could make considerably more at his current job.
Pry has played a key role in top-10 defenses at Penn State, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Georgia Southern and Western Carolina, spending the past two seasons as the Nittany Lions’ DC. In his first season as defensive coordinator, Pry helped Penn State to the 2016 Big Ten championship by guiding a unit that finished 37th in FBS in total defense (367.9), seventh in tackles for loss (8.1) and 19th in sacks (2.86) despite a significant number of injuries to the linebacking corps. The Nittany Lions ranked 11th in the country this fall in yards per play allowed.
Pry coached at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2002 to ’06, helping the Ragin’ Cajuns to a share of their first Sun Belt championship in ’05.
Mark Hudspeth was let go by ULL last month after seven seasons.