LAFAYETTE – Former Ragin’ Cajuns player and assistant coach LaMar Morgan has been named Louisiana Football’s next defensive coordinator, head coach Michael Desormeaux announced on Thursday. Morgan will also coach the team’s safeties.
A standout safety for the Ragin’ Cajuns from 2003-07, Morgan returns to Lafayette after spending the 2021 season as the cornerbacks coach at Vanderbilt.
“LaMar Morgan is a true Ragin’ Cajun,” Desormeaux said. “He was a great player and leader here, came back and did a tremendous job as a coach, and now will continue to elevate our defense to new heights. LaMar has always been a student of the game and has coached under some of the best defensive minds in college football. I am so excited to see LaMar put his spin on the next version of this defense. We are just as thrilled to have his wife Jazen, daughters Kroix and Kalais, and his son, Krue, back home.”
Morgan coached two of Vanderbilt’s top-five tacklers during the 2021 season in Jaylen Mohoney and Gabe Juedy. Mahoney ranked third on the team with 53 tackles, 2.0 sacks and two interceptions, while Juedy ranked fifth with 50 tackles and one pick.
With Morgan coaching in the secondary, Vanderbilt was able to increase its interception total from two in 2020 to 13 in 2021, while the Commodores passing defense improved from 296.4 yards allowed in 2020 to 264.4 yards allowed on 2021.
During the 2020 season at Louisiana, Morgan coached Third Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Eric Garror and Honorable Mention choice Mekhi Garner. Garner led the cornerbacks with 27 tackles, three interceptions and seven breakups, while Garror notched 23 tackles, three picks and three breakups.
Louisiana’s secondary had a huge year with Morgan leading the cornerbacks, recording 16 interceptions. The pick total was tied for second in the Sun Belt, third in the nation and were the most produced by the team since 2009.
Overall, the Ragin’ Cajuns defense ranked fourth in the Sun Belt and 31st nationally in scoring defense (22.0) and fourth in the league and 33rd nationally in total defense (355.4) during the 2020 campaign.
In his first year on staff with the Ragin’ Cajuns, Morgan coached Michael Jacquet III to a Second Team All-Sun Belt Team after he finished tied for sixth on the team with 45 tackles and accounted for two interceptions and a forced fumble. Following his senior campaign, he participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl before signing a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Along with Jacquet III, Morgan helped solidify the cornerback position with Garror, AJ Washington and Kamar Greenhouse, who tallied a combined 104 tackles, six interceptions and 20 pass breakups.
“I am humbled by the opportunity here at the University of Louisiana,” Morgan said. “I am so excited to lead this group of young men and to serve our coaching staff. Louisiana has shaped me into the man I am today. It is a great feeling for my family to be able to rejoin the community here in Lafayette, La. I am so glad to be back home.”
He spent one season at Houston before returning to Lafayette and was directly responsible for two of the Cougars’ top-four tacklers in Gleson Sprewell (73) and Deontay Anderson (67). Overall, the team’s safety corps notch six interceptions, including three by Sprewell and one from Anderson.
Prior to arriving in Houston, he spent two seasons (2016-17) as the defensive backs coach at ULM, where he once again had two defenders finish in the top three among Warhawk tacklers in Roland Jenkins (89) and Wesley Thompson (67).
From 2014-15, Morgan served as the defensive backs coach at Western Carolina. In year one with the program, he mentored All-Southern Conference corner Trey Morgan, who led the league with six picks and helped WCU to 11 overall interceptions, the team’s most since the 2009 season.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Vanderbilt (2012-13), helping the Commodores to a top-23 nationally-ranked defense that propelled the team to back-to-back 9-4 seasons and two bowl game appearances. In year two in Nashville, the defense ranked 14th nationally in total takeaways and were ranked No. 13 in the nation in interceptions.
Morgan was a four-year letterwinner and starter at safety for the Ragin’ Cajuns from 2003, 2005-07. Making appearances in 40 games, he finished his career with 111 tackles, including four interceptions and nine pass breakups. As a senior, he finished with 55 tackles, which featured a career-high 14-tackle performance against Texas A&M.
Off the field, he was a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy (then the Draddy Trophy) and was a two-time Sun Belt Commissioner’s List selection. He also appeared on the Sun Belt Conference Honor Roll five times.
Morgan and his wife, Jazen, have three children: Kroix, Krue and Kalais.
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