Randy Sanders was named ETSU football head coach on Dec. 17, 2017, becoming the 18th head coach in program history. Now in the 2021 season, Sanders is 12-13 at the helm of the Bucs following a 3-9 season featuring a young ETSU squad. The Bucs picked up a marquee win over Austin Peay (20-14), defeating a team that would go on to make a deep run in the FCS playoffs. Coach Sanders coached 12 All-SoCon honorees in his second season with the program. Despite the record, the Bucs posted the 10th-best offense in a single season in program history (4,030), while also averaging the sixth most yards per play (5.43). In his first season with the Blue & Gold, Sanders guided the Bucs to a share of the 2018 Southern Conference Championship in just his first season at the helm of the program. Under the direction of Sanders, the Bucs finished 8-4 in 2018, earning the program’s second-ever trip to the FCS playoffs. The eight wins were the most by a first-year head coach in Buccaneer history and the third-most in a single season in school history. Coach Sanders was labeled the SoCon Coach of the Year and was named a finalist for the STATS FCS Eddie Robinson Award, while also coaching 13 players to All-SoCon teams and 19 All-American accolades in 2018. For more on Coach Sanders, click here.
A man of vision, passion, and unwavering faith, Mark Speir enters his ninth season as the head football coach at Western Carolina University in 2020, his second stint with the football program in Cullowhee during his 29-year coaching career. Speir (pronounced “spear”), a former WCU assistant coach who has spent the bulk of his collegiate coaching career at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level, was named the 13th head football coach during a press conference held in the Ramsey Center on Dec. 22, 2011. Since his return to Cullowhee, Speir has been a driving force in the revitalization of the Catamount football program. Among 20 national finalists for the 2014 Eddie Robinson National FCS Coach of the Year award, Speir has guided the Catamounts to a trio of seven-win seasons including in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015, and thrice driven WCU to the doorstep of returning to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs during his tenure. Six different Catamounts have earned postseason All-America honors during his tenure.