Joe Prud’homme, who won seven state titles at Nolan Catholic High School, was introduced as Texas Wesleyan University’s new head football coach at a Thursday press conference.
Athletic Director Steve Trachier introduced Prud’homme at the afternoon event at Lou’s Place.
“We start today, recruiting starts today, the building of the program starts today for Texas Wesleyan,” Prud’homme said. “I’m extremely excited, I’m ready to put on the blue and gold, I’m ready to be a Ram.”
Trachier said the goal in recruiting for the position was “wanting to find a coach that’s perfect for Texas Wesleyan, a coach that understands our vision for the football program, a coach that develops student athletes to their fullest potential.”
Prud’homme said that he is excited for the opportunity and just wants to build the momentum.
“This is an exciting time for Texas Wesleyan history,” he said. “There is a great tradition of winning here, the basketball team is No.3 in the nation, so they’re setting a tradition for the rest of us to follow.”
Prud’homme coached at Nolan from 1991 to 1996 and again from 1999 to 2015, compiling an overall record of 189 wins, 90 losses and three ties, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Prud’homme also said he is coming to Wesleyan to have a chance to write history, and to build something special. He wants to build a championship program with student athletes that are students first.
“It’s a blank page,” he said of the football program. “The opportunity to start from scratch, to build something special, that was really appealing to me.”
University President Frederick Slabach noted how well several of the school’s sports teams are currently doing.
“Football is our next step,” Slabach said. “Football is a big part of our 2020 strategic vision to reinvigorate our campus and community and to further enhance the college experience for all of our students.”
Texas Wesleyan will begin competition in 2017, and the goal is to have 75 players, Prud’homme said. The team will compete in the Central States League of the NAIA.
Prud’homme said that he’s looking to build a championship program with students who are students first.
I want athletes who are committed in the classroom and committed on the playing field,” he said. “I want to put something out there a product that we are all proud of.”
He also said that he is looking for athletes who may have been overlooked by Division I teams.
“Maybe they were an inch too short, maybe a step too slow in their eyes and to me those players have a chip on their shoulders and have something to prove,” he said. “If they’re great athletes, great students, then they’re welcome here.”
Prud’homme expects the recruiting radius to be wide, but that it would start close to home.
“Texas is sure outstanding,” he said. “You look at Mansfield, look up north at Keller, Southlake Carroll the whole place is crawling with kids that want the opportunity. But I’ll open the circles as wide as I need too.”
Prud’homme said he plans on hosting open tryouts for Wesleyan students who could potentially make the team.
“Hopefully we’ll find a few good surprises,” he said.