NEW ORLEANS – Tulane head football coach Willie Fritz announced the hiring of Lance Guidry as the team’s defensive coordinator on Friday.

Guidry, a Welsh, Louisiana native, was most recently the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Marshall University. Marshall’s defense this past season ranked among the top five in FBS in six categories, the top 10 in 10 categories and in the top 25 in 15 categories. The Thundering Herd were ranked in first in third down defense (23.5), second in stop rate (78.4), third in passing defense efficiency (104.67) and yards per play (4.6), fifth in rush defense (93.0) and turnovers gained (29), sixth in scoring defense (16.0) and passes intercepted (18), eighth in total defense (294.5), ninth in first down defense (200), 12th in defensive touchdowns (3), 16th in team sacks (2.92), 19th in red zone defense (76.7), 22nd tackles for loss (6.9) and fumbles recovered (11), 27th in passing yards allowed (201.5) plus 29th in fourth down defense (42.9). Six of the players he coached in 2022 earned All-Sun Belt honors including a pair on the first team.

In his first season in the position with the Thundering Herd in 2021, Guidry’s defensive squad led Conference USA and placed among the top 30 nationally in passing efficiency defense (12th – 117.56), sacks (18th – 3.08) and tackles for loss (30th – 6.6). His defense also placed among the top five in conference in third down defense (5th – 37.2), fourth down defense (5th – 47.1), passing yards allowed (2nd – 205.3), red zone defense (3rd -74.4) and scoring defense (2nd – 23.8). Nine of the team’s defensive players were recognized by the C-USA in their end of the season awards.

Prior to arrive at Marshall, Guidry spent a year working as the safeties coach at Florida Atlantic University. In 2020, his unit contributed to the fifth-best pass defense in C-USA (188.2), which ranked 16th in all of FBS. The defensive unit’s total defense was fourth-best in C-USA and 24th in the NCAA. FAU also finished as the second-most difficult unit to score in the conference, just 17.4 points per game, a mark that was ninth-best in the FBS.

Guidry joined the Southeastern Louisiana staff in 2019 and was part of a staff that led SLU to an 8-5 record. The defense accumulated 16 interceptions and 54 pass breakups.
 
Guidry served six seasons for McNeese State, his alma mater, the last three as the head coach of the Cowboys. All told, Guidry spent 12 seasons in Lake Charles, during which McNeese compiled a 98-45 overall record, including a 60-24 mark in Southland Conference play. During his most recent stint in Lake Charles, he mentored Southland Defensive Players of the Year BJ Blunt (2018) and Wallace Scott (2015)

Guidry was part of McNeese staffs that helped the Cowboys to four Southland Conference championships and six appearances in the FCS playoffs, including a trip to the 2002 FCS championship game.
 
A 6-5 finish in 2018 extended the team’s consecutive streak of winning seasons to 14. Guidry’s consistently dominant defense were highlighted by his units in both the 2015 and 2017 seasons. His 2017 Cowboys led the nation and set a new Southland record with 54.5 rushing yards per game allowed – the seventh-lowest average allowed in FCS history. Guidry’s 2017 McNeese defense propelled the Cowboys to a 9-2 record, ranking in the top 10 nationally in third down conversion defense (1stt – 23.8), first downs allowed (2nd – 150), defensive touchdowns (3rd- 5), total defense (5th – 262.5 ypg.), red zone defense (6th – 63.0 percent), turnovers forced (6th – 26), interceptions (7th – 16) and tackles for loss per game (9th – 8.2). That season, the Cowboys held five teams without an offensive touchdown, including Southeastern Louisiana in a 13-3 McNeese victory in Lake Charles. That year’s Lions’ offense averaged 428.1 total yards, 283.1 rushing yards and 34.8 points per game. In 2015, McNeese won the Southland Conference title and finished with a perfect regular season record thanks in large part to rankings of No. 12 nationally in total defense, third in scoring defense and fourth in rushing defense.
 
Prior to his stint at McNeese, Guidry was the defensive coordinator for two seasons at WKU and served as the interim coach for the Hilltoppers in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl – the program’s first bowl appearance. At WKU, he coached three NFL draft picks in defensive end Quanterous Smith, linebacker Andrew Jackson and safety Jonathan Dowling. His 2012 defense led the Sun Belt Conference in total defense, sacks, pass defense efficiency and first downs allowed.
 
Before coaching at WKU, Guidry was defensive backs coach at Miami (Ohio) for two seasons. The 2010 RedHawks were 10-4 and won the GoDaddy.com Bowl over Middle Tennessee, 35-21, with Guidry serving as interim head coach.
 
Guidry also had local high school coaching stops at Leesville and Carencro High School.
 
A 1995 McNeese graduate and two-time All-Conference strong safety, Guidry helped McNeese to a pair of conference titles and playoff appearances during his collegiate playing career (1990-93).

{Courtesy: Tulane Athletics}