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CU announces football staff

MURFREESBORO – As Lorick Atkinson enters his third season at the helm of the Chowan University football team, he will have some new coaches by his side.

Thursday morning Atkinson officially introduced the Hawk’s new staff, including a pair of newcomers that were hired to replace two departing staff members.

The first change will come just below Atkinson where Assistant Head Coach Richard Lage has been promoted to Associate Head Coach. Lage will also remain as Defensive Coordinator.

“Richard has done a great job,” Atkinson said. “He’s not just a good coach, he’s a good friend.

“I’m comfortable that if I’m not here, Richard will make the right decision,” he added. “We’re here to build this thing and I’m glad he’s beside me in doing it.”

New to the staff will be Perry Woolbright, who takes over the role of Offensive Coordinator from David Earp, who served in that spot for two seasons.

“First of all, I’d like to thank Coach Earp for his two years,” Atkinson said. “Due to family issues, he had to go back home to the Raleigh area, but we wish him the best of luck.”

Stepping in to take over the Hawks’ offense is Woolbright, a former player and coach at Appalachian State University.

“Coach Woolbright comes from a championship program and knows how to win,” Atkinson said. “He was highly recommended by Coach (Jerry) Moore.”

Woolbright was on the staff of ASU’s national championship team in 2005.

Also coming on board is Omar Nesbit, who will take over the responsibilities of coaching the offensive line. He replaces Sam Gruniesen, who retired from coaching.

“Omar was a Shrine Bowl player and played at Summersville High School in Charleston, South Carolina,” Atkinson said. “They hold the all-time record for wins at the high school level.”

Nesbit, who played at The Citadel, has a brother, Jamar, who is a Left Tackle for the New Orleans Saints.

“These two coaches bring a lot of college experience to our staff,” Atkinson stressed. “They have a knowledge of winning and that means a lot to me.”

Atkinson said it was the first time since he arrived in Murfreesboro that he truly feels his staff is complete.

“I feel comfortable on both sides of the football,” he said. “We made a tremendous amount of progress during the spring.

“We have a hungry group of young men,” he said. “We have a bad taste in our mouth because we haven’t won for a while.”

The coach said recruiting had helped the Hawks and that it was nice to be able to sign players on National Signing Day for the first time in the school’s history.

As the Chowan team prepares for 2007, however, they have a formidable slate.

“This is the toughest schedule in our history,” Atkinson admitted.

The Hawks will meet two defending conference champions, two NCAA Division I-AA opponents and the reigning National Christian College Athletic Association champions.