LAFAYETTE — Tim Rebowe was introduced as Nicholls State’s football coach on Friday, ending more than a decade-long tenure as a defensive assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Rebowe, 51, is taking over a Colonels program that won just six games over the past four seasons and ended an 0-12 regular season with a 62-3 loss to Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday night. He replaces interim coach Steve Axman, who took over when Charlie Stubbs resigned at midseason.
Hiring a coach with local ties that could energize the program was a key, Nicholls State President Bruce Murphy said.
“Coach Rebowe brings extensive recruiting and coaching expertise and tons of enthusiasm to the Nicholls football program,” Murphy said. “During a community huddle held last month, Colonel fans expressed to me the importance of hiring a coach who would be active in the community, aggressively recruit local and regional student-athletes, and build a competitive program on a tight budget.
“With those qualities in mind, Coach Rebowe rose to the top of a highly qualified applicant pool.”
Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said Rebowe is as good a coach as any to revive the Colonels program.
“He’s been a part of the turnaround, so I think he’s got the formula that we used. I definitely think he’s going to go there and he’s going to win,” said Hudspeth, who was an assistant coach for the Colonels in the mid-1990s. “And I think you can win there, there’s too many good players in the state of Louisiana not to.”
Rebowe has spent his entire career coaching in Louisiana, and this will be his first opportunity as a collegiate head coaching job. The Norco native and former Destrehan High School coach had his first college coaching job at Nicholls State.
In 1995, Rebowe joined Darren Barbier’s staff, and from 1995-2000 served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator before coaching the receivers in 2000.
Rebowe was part of the biggest turnaround in FCS history as the Colonels went 0-11 in ’95 before earning a playoff spot the next season with an 8-4 mark.
“I think he’s really excited because of his ties there,” Hudspeth said. “He’s been there before, knows the dynamics there, knows the challenges and knows how to face those challenges. I think he’ll do a great job changing the attitude and changing the culture there. I hate to lose him but I’m really proud of him.”
Rebowe is the third member of Hudspeth’s original staff to leave, though he’s the first to do it for a new job.
Greg Stewart was fired after the 2012 season and David Saunders resigned earlier this year.
Rebowe had been with the Cajuns since 2004.
“To me, it’s an honor that they looked within our staff to hire one of our coaches to lead their program,” Hudspeth said. “I definitely think Tim will do an outstanding job. He not only will bring a lot of energy to that program, he’ll bring a lot of experience recruiting the state of Louisiana — specifically the river parishes and New Orleans.”
Hudspeth has already talked to Rebowe about the job’s timeline, and was able to confirm that Rebowe will stay with the Cajuns through the bowl game. He’ll likely split his duties between his Cajuns and Colonels obligations — including hiring a staff — but he will stick around until his job is completed.
“In his words, he said he wanted to finish what he started,” Hudspeth said.