MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – After leading the Mercer football team into the history books in its return to the gridiron, head coach Bobby Lamb was rewarded with a new contract from the university, extending the leader of the Bears through the 2019 season.
In the process of building a program from scratch, Lamb has turned Mercer into a winner overnight as the Bears posted a 10-win season to capture a third place finish in the Pioneer Football League and set the NCAA Division I record for victories by a first-year program.
"Bobby Lamb has done a tremendous job creating a winning culture in his first season at Mercer and we look forward to having him build a football legacy that will last a lifetime," said President William D. Underwood. "His vision for recruiting true student-athletes to our campus and bringing men of character to Mercer embodies what our university is all about."
Lamb has quickly emerged on the national scene following Mercer's historic season, being named one of 21 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award as the nation's top FCS coach, with the winner being announced at an awards banquet Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.
"What Coach Lamb has been able to do at Mercer in such a short time is remarkable," said Director of Athletics Jim Cole. "His commitment to academics and athletics is second to none and we look forward to having him lead the Bears into the Southern Conference this fall."
The double-digit win total is the third in the illustrious 10-year head coaching career by Lamb, who picked up win No. 77 in the season finale against Stetson. Lamb finished the 2013 season one victory shy of his highest single-season win total, a feat he accomplished in 2005 when he appeared in the FCS National semifinals with an 11-3 record.
"This contract extension shows the continued commitment from the university to create a winning tradition at Mercer," said Lamb. "President Underwood and Athletic Director Jim Cole have an incredible vision for the university and I am excited about what we can accomplish in the coming years."
Lamb's leadership extends far beyond the football field, as his teams have a history of outstanding academic credentials. Over the last 10 years, his student-athletes have a 97-percent graduation success rate, while his 972 academic progress rate (APR) ranks in the top 10-percent in the country.
A mastermind quarterback in his days at Furman, Lamb extended his knowledge to John Russ this fall, as the redshirt freshman was responsible for 34 total touchdowns on his way to PFL Offensive Freshman of the Year honors and a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the country.
Lamb and the Bears will sign the program's first scholarship recruiting class in February 2014, before transitioning to the Southern Conference next fall.