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Neal LaHue Named New Head Football Coach

Ashlie Ford

TLU Sports Information & Sports Marketing
Bryce Hayes

Neal LaHue, who brings over 35 years of coaching experience, has been named the new head football coach at Texas Lutheran, athletic director Bill Miller announced today.

"We are so excited that Neal LaHue has made the decision to lead the TLU Football Program," said Miller. "Coach LaHue has been successful everywhere he has coached including his two years as our offensive coordinator under Coach Carl Gustafson. Coach LaHue has strong connections with the high school coaches in this part of Texas. Because of these connections, I think it will increase our capability of recruiting student-athletes who can compete at the highest level. Coach LaHue's strong emphasis on academic success as well as his ability to utilize the sport of football to help prepare these young men to be productive and successful citizens makes him a great 'fit' for Texas Lutheran University. He coaches for the right reasons. He is a great role model. He is a winner, not only on the field, but in everything that he does. Today starts a new era in TLU Bulldog Football."

Coach Neal LaHue

"I am beyond blessed and excited to return to TLU and lead this tradition rich program as the Head Football Coach," LaHue said. "Our goal will always be to make a positive impact on the athletes that come to TLU to get a great education and play college football. We will work extremely hard to put a team on the field and in the classroom that will make all of Bulldog Nation proud. Go Bulldogs!"

"I want to extend a special welcome to Coach LaHue as he returns to TLU," TLU President Debbie Cottrell said. "He is an accomplished coach, an outstanding role model, and someone who will strengthen our community as he leads our student-athletes in football, on and off the field. I look forward to working with him in support of athletics at Texas Lutheran."

"Coach LaHue has been a lifelong friend of mine, we have coached with and against each other…I like coaching with him much more than against him because one thing about his team's; they win," stated former Texas Lutheran head football coach Carl Gustafson. "He's a student of the game, a great offensive mind, and a 'people person' that builds great relationships with everyone he comes in contact with. Every place he has coached throughout his career, they've won and won the right way. He will produce great football players and even better men who will carry lessons past their playing careers."

Texas Lutheran Athletics Hall of Fame member D.W. Rutledge '75 stated, "I believe this is a great hire for Texas Lutheran. Neal has been around Texas High School football for over 30 years and has a great reputation with high school coaches in Texas and I'm excited to see him head up the TLU football program."

LaHue has spent the last two seasons as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach at Division-II Texas A&M - Kingsville. In his lone full season in 2021, the Javelinas averaged 24.2 points per game and 329 yards of total offense with six offensive players receiving All-Lone Star Conference (LSC) honors.

LaHue is no stranger to TLU serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under coach Carl Gustafson for two seasons (2018-19). During his stint with TLU, the Bulldogs compiled a record of 15-5.

In 2019, the program averaged 424.1 yards per game on offense along with a 33.4 scoring average for an 8-2 mark. The 2018 season saw the team go 7-3 during the regular season averaging 421.7 yards per game of total offense while averaging 35.5 points per contest. During his time on staff, the Bulldogs saw 10 student-athletes on the Bulldogs offense named to the All-American Southwest Conference teams, another three land on the All-South Region squads, and one All-American.

Prior to his time in Seguin, Texas, LaHue coached in the prep ranks at Hays High School in Buda, Texas, from 2013 through the 2017 seasons as the head coach. He guided the Rebels to an appearance in the District 25-6A state playoffs in 2017 as well as a 27-4A District Championship and state playoff appearance. He also spent the 2006 through 2012 seasons as the head coach for Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, led the Rough Riders to four District 26-5A state playoff appearances in his last five years at the helm of the program, and was named the Marvin Gustafson Coach of the Year for his efforts following the 2012 season.

LaHue's collegiate experience also featured a stop at Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2002 where he spent four years alongside Salinas under Richard Cundiff as the offensive coordinator and helped guide the Javelinas to a 30-7 mark from 2002-04, two NCAA Division II National Semifinal appearances, two West Region Championships, and three Lone Star Conference Championships.

LaHue spent time as the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, from 1997 to 2001, eventually named San Angelo Standard Times Coach of the Year in 2000. The Antlers made the playoffs in each of his five years, were a four-time Bi-District finalist, and once made the Regional semifinals in 2000. The team was a District 28-4A and District 27-4A finalist in 1997 and 2000, respectively, finished third in District 28-4A in 1998 and District 27-4A in 2001 and claimed the District 28-4A Championship in 1999.

Another prestigious stop during LaHue's career in the coaching ranks includes a four-year stint at Westlake High School as an offensive coordinator from 1993-96. The Chaparrals reached the state quarterfinals all four years with him on staff, including a runner-up finish after the 1994 season, and finally reached the pinnacle for the first time in program history in 1996 as the Class 5A Division II Champions. Overall, the team compiled a 56-3-2 record with La Hue on the sidelines, including a perfect 40-0 record in the regular season. His stint with the Chaparrals saw him coach NFL Super Bowl MVP and future NFL Hall of Famer, Drew Brees.

Previous stints among the prep ranks include one year at Seguin High School as an offensive coordinator where LaHue helped the team to a District Championships, as well as two years at Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, as a wide receivers coach that saw the team reach the state quarterfinals in 1990 and 1991, and two years at Ingleside High School in Ingleside, Texas, in 1988 and 1989.

LaHue, an Austin, Texas, native, played high school football at Austin Lanier and was a four-year letter winner from 1981-84 for the Texas A&I (now Texas A&M - Kingsville) football program He was a three-time All-LSC honoree and named to the AFCA All-America first team in 1984 as a placekicker for the Javelinas, and is currently sixth all-time in program history in career PAT kicks made at 109, and fourth in career PAT kick percentage at 94.8% (109-115) LaHue was inducted into the Javelina Hall of Fame in 2011.

LaHue's first coaching stop dates back to 1985 for his alma mater, Texas A&I as he spent three years on the sideline under coach Ron Harms as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach that saw the program claim two Lone Star Conference Championships and a three-year record of 27-5 before graduating with his master's degree in secondary education in 1987.

LaHue received his bachelor's degree in physical education and health from Texas A&I in 1985. He and his wife, Margaret, have two daughters, Claire and Anais, and a son, Micheal.