MARSHALL, Texas – East Texas Baptist University head football coach Scotty Walden has resigned his position moving onto the University of Southern Mississippi as an inside wide receivers coach. He coached at ETBU for four years and was the head coach for one year.
“My prayers are with Coach Walden as he pursues God's will for Callie and him. I have assured our Tiger players of my faithful support to building a championship athletic program which honors Christ and to providing a transformative educational experience for players in mind, spirit, and body. I wholeheartedly believe that the advancement of our football program with faithful Christian coaches is essential to building the character and quality of our student body. We are seeking a coaching and spiritual leader who will guide the continued success of Tiger Football and will make a meaningful and enduring spiritual impact in the lives of our student athletes,” says ETBU President Dr. J. Blair Blackburn.
Walden went 7-3 in his only season as the head coach in 2016 at ETBU and was the offensive coordinator for three years. ETBU had one of the most dynamic offenses in all of NCAA in those four years finishing in the top 10 in NCAA Division III in several categories. This past season his offense was the top scoring offense in all of NCAA at 49.9 points per game. Walden came to ETBU in February 2013 and was the offensive coordinator under Joshua Eargle for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons.
“We are excited for Coach Walden and this new opportunity. While we hate to lose a coach of his caliber, we knew that it would be only a matter of time because of this talent, passion, and success on and off the field. We are grateful to Coach Walden for his service at ETBU and for not only what he did on the football field, but for the impact he had in the lives of our student-athletes. His commitment to Christ-centered athletics and developing football players athletically, academically, and spiritually will make an eternal impact on their lives for years to come. Coach Walden will be missed and we wish him nothing but the best at Southern Miss,” Vice President for Athletics/Director of Athletics Ryan Erwin said.
Walden’s offensive schemes broke numerous ETBU single game and season records in four years. ETBU’s offensive players also rewrote single season and career records and received national and American Southwest Conference awards.
Walden comments, "I am beyond blessed to have been the head coach at ETBU. My wife and I always said we would only leave this program for something special. We feel this is an opportunity at Southern Mississippi that at this point in our lives we cannot pass up. I thank the players, staff and administration for their belief in me. This university, led by Dr. Blackburn, has done more for me than anyone will ever know. Telling these players I am leaving is one of the hardest things I've ever done. The future is brighter than ever at ETBU and in Marshall. A part of me will always bleed Blue and Gold. Thanks to everyone for their love and support over the four years Callie and I have been here. God Bless and Go Tigers.”
ETBU’s football program has now had back-to-back winning seasons and were tri-champions of the American Southwest Conference in 2015. This past season they were ranked in the national poll for nine weeks in the D3football.com poll and seven weeks in the AFCA national poll.
An immediate search will begin for Walden’s replacement as head coach.