Exam fraud, recruit payments among NCAA accusations against UL-Lafayette, ex-assistant coach David Saunders _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Former Louisiana-Lafayette assistant football coach David Saunders

LAFAYETTE — Louisiana-Lafayette outside linebackers coach David Saunders, an original member of head coach Mark Hudspeth’s staff, has resigned.

The university issued a brief statement to deliver the news Monday morning, citing “personal reasons” for Saunders’ departure. Matt Wallerstedt, who joined the Cajuns staff as a consultant midway through the season, will take over Saunders’ position.

Saunders is only the second member of Hudspeth’s original staff to leave the program. The midseason timing of the move is curious, but as Hudspeth said Monday, “There is never a good time when you announce your resignation.”

“That’s what (Saunders) did yesterday for personal reasons, and that’s as far as we’re allowed to say,” Hudspeth said.

Saunders has more than 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level.

Wallerstedt now becomes an official member of the staff, allowing him to personally work with players. Before Saunders’ resignation, Wallerstedt was not allowed to have contact with players or have any input on game day.

“He will be the ninth accountable coach, so he’ll be able to coach a position now, be in meetings and be more involved with our defense,” Hudspeth said. “We’re full speed ahead, and we’ll continue moving forward.”

Wallerstedt began the season as Texas Tech’s defensive coordinator but abruptly resigned after three games.