By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Tony Samuel's free agency lasted less than one day.
Samuel signed a five-year contract extension with Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday to remain the head football coach through the 2016 season. The 2010 Eddie Robinson Award winner, which is bestowed on the Football Championship Subdivision coach of the year and sponsored by Fathead.com, had his original five-year contract with the Ohio Valley Conference university expire on Monday.
His "free agency" was hardly an issue as both sides wanted to remain a tandem.
"Five years ago, we hired the right coach," SEMO President Kenneth W. Dobbins said. "We are pleased with Tony's style and success and look forward to many more years with him as head coach. The contract process took longer because of recruiting obligations, wanting to make sure we had the right contract in place."
In 2010, Samuel led the Redhawks to their first-ever conference title and NCAA playoff berth. They went 9-3 overall and 7-1 in the OVC, tying a school record for the most wins in a season, and finished 13th in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25 after losing to eventual FCS champion Eastern Washington in the second round of the playoffs.
Ten SEMO players received All-OVC honors and three seniors made The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS All-America Team: running back Henry Harris on the first team, guard Frank Knights on the second team and center Sean Middleton on the third team
"We have a lot of work to do to get ready for next season," Samuel said. "Now that we have signed, we are going to keep doing what we're doing."
Samuel has a 22-35 record through his five seasons at SEMO. He is 56-92 overall, having gone 34-57 at New Mexico State from 1997-2004.
For more on Samuel winning the Eddie Robinson Award, click here.