TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — Clay Hendrix was introduced as Furman's new head football coach by director of athletics Mike Buddie on Monday at a 1:00 p.m. gathering of university supporters at the Pearce-Horton Football Complex at Paladin Stadium.
Hendrix, a former Paladin offensive guard and assistant coach who returns to his alma mater following a decade as an assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy, is the 23rd head coach in the history of Furman football, which dates from 1889. He succeeds Bruce Fowler, who resigned his head coaching duties on Dec. 2.
"I am thrilled to welcome Clay and his family back to Greenville. The future of Furman football is bright," said Buddie. "An extensive search led us to an obvious choice in Clay Hendrix. His incredible record of winning football games and developing young men of high character make him a perfect fit for Furman."
"We could not be more excited and humbled with the opportunity to return to Greenville and our alma mater," said Hendrix, whose wife, LeeAnn, is also a Furman graduate. "We have spent 10 wonderful years in Colorado and will forever be grateful to Troy Calhoun for the opportunity to coach the great young men at the United States Air Force Academy. The chance to build on the great tradition at Furman, however, was too good of an opportunity to pass up."
In 10 years at the Air Force Academy, where he coached the offensive line and served as offensive coordinator for five seasons, as well as associate head coach over the last seven campaigns, Hendrix played a pivotal role in the Falcons producing some of the top rushing attacks in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). That productivity translated into a 76-53 record (.589), nine bowl game appearances, and four Commander-in-Chief's Trophies, which is awarded annually based on head-to-head results among the three service academies.
Hendrix paved his way to Air Force with an exemplary 19-year record of accomplishment as an assistant coach at Furman, where he served as offensive line coach each year, recruiting coordinator for three seasons, and assistant head coach over his final five campaigns. From 1988-2006 he helped the Paladins post a 155-77-1 record (.667), including a 100-45 Southern Conference mark (.690) that led to six league championships, 11 NCAA FCS (formerly I-AA) playoff appearances, a national runner-up finish in 2001, and 1988 national championship — the first by a SoCon member school and private university in FCS history.
Over his final eight seasons on the Paladin staff (1999-06), Furman registered a 73-28 record (.723) and 47-14 worksheet (.770) against SoCon competition en route to three league championships, seven FCS playoff berths, 2001 national runner-up campaign, and seven top 10 final national rankings.
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