It’s Rebowe’s turn to resurrect Colonels football
It is one of the most difficult jobs in Louisiana college football.
Why? The record says so.
The last and only Nicholls State football coach to leave the school with a winning record was Sonny Jackson in 1986. Even Darren Barbier and Jay Thomas, the last two coaches to guide Nicholls State to the I-AA playoffs, departed with losing records. The Colonels’ only win in the 1-AA playoffs came in 1986 under Jackson.
So, after an 0-12 season, and the midseason departure of head coach Charley Stubbs, the school has looked to former UL-Lafayette assistant coach Tim Rebowe to provide some desperately needed leadership. And, something else – fun.
“He is changing the attitude of the kids,” says former West St. John football coach Laury Dupont.
Dupont, who serves as marketing liaison for the Sports Medicine Center at Thibodaux Regional, is qualified to make such an assessment. Seven of his West St. John teams reached the state finals. Three won championships.
“What I have seen is a complete 180-degree change in the attitude of the team,” said Dupont.
On the Thursday night before Mardi Gras, the Colonels had Mardi Gras Madness. They lifted weights at 9 p.m. Coaches and players were in costume. A team bonding experience it was.
But, Rebowe needs resources because resources help attract better players. Coaching salaries have been increased. And, since Tim Rebowe was hired, coaches received courtesy automobiles to recruit.
Rebowe has witnessed turnarounds before. He lived one during the past four seasons at ULL.
Head coach Mark Hudspeth took over a losing program and turned it into a consistent winner.
What did Rebowe learn from his boss?
“There is no offseason.”
“Recruiting is the lifeblood of the program.”
“You must be a great evaluator of talent.”
“Player development is critical.”
“Little things are important.”
And, so are linemen.
Of the 26 signees by the Colonels in the recruiting class of 2015, 11 are linemen. The Colonels were clearly deficient at the line of scrimmage, especially defensively. In four games last season, the Colonels allowed 62 points or more, including a season-ending 62-3 drubbing at the hands of archrival Southeastern Louisiana University.
Rebowe does have some tools to fashion a turnaround. Quarterback Tuskani Figaro is back after redshirting in 2014. And, 1,000-yard rusher Michael Henry returns. Henry had four 100-yard rushing games last season.
Rebowe said his team must believe it can be successful. Laury Dupont already sees a change.
“In conditioning drills, one of the linemen was struggling to finish,” said Dupont. “The entire team got behind him and cheered him on to finish.”
“For Nicholls football, Rebowe is a breath of fresh air.”