news-category: Athletics

Gardner-Webb Launches National Search for new Head Football Coach

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University Head Football Coach Tre Lamb resigned on Monday to accept the head coaching position at East Tennessee State University. A national search for Gardner-Webb’s next head coach has already begun and will be led by Raleigh-based Collegiate Sports Associates. Collegiate Sports Associates (CSA) has assisted in filling head football coaching positions at Nebraska, Southern Cal, SMU, Washington State, and Western Carolina, among others. 

“GWU Football has experienced an impressive turnaround since we made our last coaching change in 2019,” noted Gardner-Webb University President Dr. William Downs. “This is a program that had endured six straight losing seasons. With new investment in our facilities, with enhancements to our gameday experience, and with the dedication of our players, our staff, and our fan base there has been a really exciting revival at Spangler Stadium. We are now fully committed to building on recent successes and fielding championship-caliber teams each and every season. We need to fulfill the pledge to ‘do something greater.’ Drew Turner and CSA are the best in the business, and I’m eager to work with them on this important search.”

In four seasons in Boiling Springs, Lamb (20-20) led Gardner-Webb to back-to-back conference championships and FCS Playoffs appearances.  After a COVID-shortened initial campaign ended with a 2-2 record, Lamb followed up with a 4-7 record in his second season.  Years three and four, though, were special. 

In 2022, Gardner-Webb claimed the Big South Championship, it’s first in 19 years, to clinch the program’s first-ever berth in the FCS Playoffs. The season ended in the second round, after the Runnin’ Bulldogs claimed their first FCS Playoff win over Eastern Kentucky University (52-41) in round one.

This past season, the ‘Dawgs tied UT-Martin for a share of the inaugural Big South-OVC Football Association Championship, finishing the season with a 7-5 overall record and a 5-1 conference record. Lamb’s last game was a 17-7 loss to Mercer in the first round of the FCS playoffs.  The 2023 team posted the program’s best winning percentage (.583) since setting the same mark during the 2013-2014 season.

“I would like to thank Tre for all that he has done for Gardner-Webb University” said Gardner-Webb Director of Athletics Dr. Andrew Goodrich. “We will build upon the foundation he helped create and take the Runnin’ Bulldog football program to the next level.”

Over the last four years at Gardner-Webb, defensive end Ty French was named Big South Defensive Player of the Year (2022), quarterback Bailey Fisher was named Big South Offensive Player of the Year (2022), linebacker Ty Anderson was named Big South Defensive Freshman of the Year (2022) and linebacker William McRainey was twice named the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year (2022 & 2023). In total, 23 players were named first-team all-conference selections during Lamb’s four seasons.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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