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NAU announces 2017 will be coach Souers’ last year at the helm

Northern Arizona head coach Jerome Souers before an NCAA college football game against Arizona, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

This season marks the 20th year for Jerome Souers at the helm for the Northern Arizona University football team.

This season also marks his final year, NAU announced in a press conference on Monday.

NAU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Lisa Campos said Souers will not return to the team next season, but he will finish off the year with the Lumberjacks.

“Rather than wait until the end of the season, we want to celebrate Jerome’s 20 years of service with NAU. We want our university, Flagstaff and Big Sky communities to have the opportunity to thank him, and wish him the best in the next chapter of his life. I want to thank Jerome for his service to NAU and the football program,” Campos said.

NAU decided to announce the news after just two games “to ensure that Coach Souers’ leadership and service to NAU and student-athletes can be celebrated throughout the remainder of the season.”

Souers holds many Big Sky Conference records, including overall wins (112), conference wins (76) and number of years as a head coach.

“I’d like to take this time to thank the coaches and players in the NAU Football Family now as well as all those who’ve shared this journey with me the past 20 years,” Souers said. “I am blessed with so many fond memories of achievement on and off the field with the young men I’ve been honored to work with. With nine games remaining on our schedule our goals remain the same. Everything we’ve worked so hard to achieve is still in front of us. I can assure you that our coaching staff and all the members of this special team will continue to persevere and to compete for the Big Sky Conference Championship.”

NAU is 112-105 since Souers took over in 1998. He is tied for the seventh-longest tenured coach in the FCS.

The Lumberjacks started this year 0-2 with a 38-point loss at Arizona and a 18-point home loss to Western Illinois.

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