NATCHITOCHES — With eight years as a college head coach, six more as a defensive coordinator and two seasons in the NFL, new Northwestern State associate head coach and defensive coordinator Daryl Daye brings accomplishment and experience to the Demons’ football program.

Daye, head coach at Division II Missouri Southern for the past three seasons, announced his departure from the Lions’ program Thursday afternoon to join his close friend and longtime coaching ally Jay Thomas, the Demons’ third-year head coach. The hiring is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Northwestern State.

He replaces Mike Lucas, who was Northwestern State’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach last season before accepting a position at UL-Lafayette in December.

Daye and Thomas met while working at LSU as graduate assistants in 1987-88, and coached together at Nicholls State from 1999-2003, when Daye was head coach and Thomas was the defensive coordinator.

“He’s a tremendous asset for this program and to this community, and he’s a good person, a great coach and a good friend,” said Thomas. “The loyalty will always be there … we have that brotherly deal together, so it will be a lot of fun. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. We share the same concepts, the same approach, so as I’ve said all along, our system doesn’t change.

Daye has also worked under head coaches Mike Archer at LSU, Curley Hallman at Southern Miss and Pete Richardson at Southern.

Thomas said Daye will be on campus in a few days to begin preparations for spring practice.


Veteran accuses two players of harassment: In Auburn, Alabama, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has apologized for the behavior of two players who allegedly harassed a military veteran and her service dog as she walked to class.

Shari Duval, president of K9s for Warriors, said Thursday that Malzahn called the Air Force veteran after the incident on Tuesday. The woman, 25-year-old Ashley Ozyurt, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Duval said she has not returned to class.

Ozyurt posted on the Service Dog Memes Facebook page that she was left in tears and “hurt, angered, and very humiliated.

Duval said the two players, whose names have not been released, used profanity toward the veteran.

“Why they did that, I have no idea,” Duval said. “I guess they thought it was a good idea at the time, but it was not a good idea.””

University spokesman Mike Clardy did not immediately return phone messages or emails seeking comment Thursday but released an earlier statement to media outlets saying the university was investigating the incident “and will take all appropriate action once all the facts are known.”

Duval said Malzahn indicated the players would apologize. She said Ozyurt is “a little reluctant to accept the apologies of the players because they continue to Tweet about it.”


Bulldogs to face NCarolina in 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: In Atlanta, Georgia will face North Carolina to open the 2016 college football season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.

Game officials made the announcement Thursday. It will be played Sept. 3, 2016.

This will be the second appearance for both teams in the season-launching game, which has been played annually since 2008 matching teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference. The Tar Heels lost to LSU in 2010, while Georgia was defeated by Boise State in 2011.

The Bulldogs last faced North Carolina in 1971.

This year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 5 will feature Louisville from the ACC vs. Auburn from the SEC.

Alabama State

Barlow sues over ouster: In Montgomery, Alabama, Reggie Barlow is suing over his ouster as Alabama State’s football coach.

WSFA-TV reported that Barlow filed suit Wednesday against the university alleging fraud, breach of contract, wrongful termination and negligence.

Barlow signed a new contract in September 2014 with a pay raise.

But in November, trustees voted not to renew Barlow’s contract after he went 49-42 in eight seasons.

The former Alabama State and NFL receiver led the Hornets to five consecutive winning seasons. But he had a four-game losing streak last season that included a loss to rival Alabama A&M.