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Hood returns to Eastern Kentucky as head coach

Richmond, KY (Sports Network) - Eastern Kentucky University hired Wake Forest defensive coordinator Dean Hood as head coach, the school announced Tuesday.

Hood, 44, previously coached at Eastern Kentucky from 1994-98, the last two years as defensive coordinator. After he left for a two-year stint as defensive backs coach at Ohio University, Hood moved on to Wake Forest, and has spent the last seven seasons there.

He replaces Danny Hope, who stepped down as head coach earlier in January and joined the Purdue football staff.

"When we began this search, we identified several characteristics that we sought in our next head coach," Eastern Kentucky athletic director Mark Sandy said. "Dean Hood is a wonderful blend of those ideals: great teacher, excellent recruiter, a person of high character, and someone who has been part of the EKU football heritage."

During Hood's five years with the Colonels, the school won two Ohio Valley Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs three times.

Now Hood steps into the top position at Eastern Kentucky -- and his first head coaching job -- with the program coming off a successful season. In 2007, the Colonels went 9-3 overall and 8-0 in the OVC, winning the school's 19th conference title.

"We are very excited to be back," Hood said. "My wife is from here and we are happy to have our kids near her family. I am looking forward to the challenge of being a head coach. As you progress in this profession, you always think about doing things your own way. This is a chance to implement those thoughts."

01/23 19:43:23 ET