The Citadel tabs Houston as new football coach

Charleston, SC ( - Mike Houston will keep the triple option offense going as he tries to achieve the type of success at The Citadel that he enjoyed at Lenoir-Rhyne.

The Citadel named Houston as its 24th head football coach on Thursday, taking over the FCS military school program that has had only three .500-or-better seasons in the last 16 years.

Houston, 42, replaces Kevin Higgins, who resigned after nine seasons to become the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Wake Forest. The Bulldogs were 5-7 overall and 4-4 in the Southern Conference this past season.

"I can assure the alumni, administration and fans of this great school that the program will maintain the honor, integrity and discipline that has always been a hallmark of this prestigious institution," Houston said. "On the field, I look to carry on the triple option scheme that has been employed by Coach Higgins over the last four seasons."

Houston recently led Lenoir-Rhyne, located in Hickory, N.C., to a 13-2 record and the NCAA Division II national championship game, where the Bears lost to Northwest Missouri State. His teams won the South Atlantic Conference championship in each of his three seasons guiding the Bears, compiling a 29-8 record.

The 1994 graduate of Mars Hills College spent four seasons as Lenoir-Rhyne's defensive coordinator and secondary coach before becoming the head coach. He was the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Brevard College in 2006 after previously coaching on the North Carolina high school level.

"I come to this job with a great deal of energy and to compete for championships at what I consider to be one of the premiere institutions in the country," Houston said.