News Release

Coach Roland on medical leave, athletic realignments announced

Contact: Rene Abadie, Public Information; Dart Volz, Sports Information


     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University Head Football Coach and Interim Athletic Director Dennis Roland has requested that he be placed on medical leave for the next few weeks necessitating changes in the university athletic administration, Southeastern officials announced today.

     Roland, after consultation with his local physicians, entered Emory University Medical Center in Atlanta Monday for medical testing and possible treatment. Last year Roland was diagnosed and treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and this year was hospitalized as a result of complications of his illness and treatment.

     Roland was named Southeastern’s second head football coach in early 2005; in March 2006, he was appointed interim athletic director.

     Southeastern President Randy Moffett said that during Roland’s leave, assistant coach and defensive coordinator Michael Lucas will serve as interim head football coach, while Senior Associate Athletic Director Kim Graham will serve as the primary administrator of the Athletic Department.

     “We certainly anticipate Coach Roland’s return to Southeastern, and our prayers and best wishes are with him and his family during this difficult time,” Moffett said. “In the interim, we believe that these temporary administrative realignments are essential for maintaining a smooth running operation.”

     In addition to coordinating the defensive squad, Lucas coached Southeastern’s secondary, served as the liaison to the university’s Academic Enhancement Services and recruited Louisiana and Mississippi junior colleges. Lucas brings over 20 years of coaching experience to the Lions, having previously served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Tex., for 13 years. There he repeatedly produced defensive units that ranked among the best in NCAA Division I-AA football and the Southland Conference.

     Graham assumed the position of senior associate athletic director in June, in which he supervises day-to-day departmental operations, leads the department’s fund raising and marketing team and serves as administrator of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Previously he had been with Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., since 1990, serving as assistant and later director of athletics. Graham also served as an assistant football coach with Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.

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