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LA Tech football staff additions made

by Minden Press-Herald

The staff for new Louisiana Tech head football coach Sonny Cumbie is taking shape. 

Cumbie has added former Texas Tech coach Jake Brown as the wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs.

 Brown started the past year in Lubbock as an offensive quality control coach before being elevated to a full-time assistant when Cumbie was promoted to interim head coach.

“Jake is an energetic coach that I have worked with many years that brings knowledge of offense and also knowledge of building relationships with his players,” said Cumbie. “He’s a smart ball coach that will be a relentless recruiter. He and his family will be wonderful ambassadors of Louisiana Tech University.”

Brown spent the 2020 season as the offensive quality control coach for Dave Aranda and the Baylor Bears.

“My family and I are excited for the opportunity to be a part of Coach Cumbie’s staff and the Louisiana Tech football family,” said Brown. “I have known and worked alongside Coach Cumbie for many years and have always admired him both as a coach and a man.

“Coach Cumbie is going to do amazing things at Louisiana Tech, and we are honored to join him on this journey.  My family and I cannot wait to get to the great state of Louisiana and to begin building relationships with the student athletes, coaches, and administration in the Louisiana Tech athletics program. Go Dogs.”

Brown spent one season as offensive coordinator at West Texas A&M in Canyon in 2019. He helped the Buffaloes to an 8-3 mark after guided the offense to an increase of almost 10 points per game and over 100 yards per game.

He served as an analyst at TCU in 2018, following two seasons as running backs coach at Stephen F. Austin (2016-17). 

During his second season at SFA, he coached running back Kijana Amous who totaled 983 all-purpose yards, marking the most for a Lumberjack in a single season since 2014.

Brown spent three previous seasons at TCU from 2014-16, serving as the Horned Frogs’ director of high school relations in 2016 after working as a graduate assistant for the 2014 and 2015 campaigns. Brown primarily served as an inside wide receivers coach as a graduate assistant where the Horned Frogs’ posted a record of 23-3, capturing the 2014 Big 12 Championship and earning victories in both the 2014 Peach Bowl and the 2016 Alamo Bowl.

During his time in Fort Worth, Brown helped coach seven players who made NFL rosters following their collegiate careers as TCU ranked in the top five in the nation in offense.

Before arriving at TCU, Brown coached on the high school level in Texas at Arlington Martin, Lake Travis and Midlothian where he worked with a number of Division I players, including a pair of No. 1 overall draft picks in Myles Garrett and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield.

The Ennis, Texas, native graduated with his bachelor’s degree from North Texas in 2009. He is married to the former Brittany Bunnell. The couple has a daughter, Harper.

Scott Parr will join the Bulldogs staff as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.

Parr is coming to Ruston after spending the past three seasons as the head coach at Navarro College where he led the program to a conference title while earning the Conference Coach of the Year award.

“Scott Parr has orchestrated high-powered offenses his entire career,” said Cumbie. “His passion for kids and offensive football is unmatched. The son of a legendary high school coach, football is in his blood. We look forward to having Scott and his family at Louisiana Tech for many successful seasons.”

Parr has more than 20 years coaching on the collegiate level, including 10 as offensive coordinator developing offenses that routinely averaged more than 40 points, 500 yards, and 345 passing yards per game. 

In addition to his time as head coach at Navarro, Parr has also coached at Eastern Illinois (2018: Offensive Coordinator), Navarro (2015-17: Offensive Coordinator), Texas Tech (2010-13: Offensive Senior Analyst), West Texas A&M (2006-09: Offensive Coordinator), Tarleton State (2005: Receivers), Baylor (2003-04: Graduate Assistant), Abilene Christian (2000-02: Receivers, Special Teams) and Sam Houston (1998-99: Running backs).

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to work for Louisiana Tech and Sonny Cumbie,” said Parr. “The sky is the limit at Louisiana Tech. Sonny Cumbie is passionate, a players’ coach, and has high integrity. I look forward to striving to become the best Group of 5 football program in the nation. LA Tech and Sonny Cumbie provide those ingredients.”

During the past three years at Navarro, the Plainview, Texas, native led the program to the 2019 Southwest Junior College Conference Championship while earning the SWJCFC Coach of the Year award. The team finished among the nation’s top eight teams statistically in 11 categories, including first in total offense (5.415), passing yardage (4,037), per-game yardage (492.3) and touchdown passes (34).

While serving as the OC at Navarro, the program’s offensive units ranked among the NJCAA’s Top 10 in yardage and scoring (2015-17).  Navarro quarterbacks led the NJCAA in passing and per game average four years.

In 2018 at EIU, Parr’s offense ranked 22nd in FCS total and ninth in passing as the Panthers had five 500-yard-plus total offense performances and six 40-plus point efforts. Parr’s influence resulted in the fifth-best passing yardage season in EIU history.

Impressive offensive numbers aren’t new to Parr whose family has deep Texas Panhandle high school football coaching roots. His father, Steve, was a head coach for a combined 31 years at Slaton, Plainview and Amarillo Palo Duro High Schools. His brother, Seth, has been a head coach 12 years — first, at Amarillo Caprock, and, most recently, at Lubbock Coronado.

As Texas Tech’s offensive quality control coach, Parr helped coach Tommy Tuberville’s Red Raiders gain NCAA Top 15 ranks in total offense three seasons with bowl appearances in 2010 and 2012. Before that, he served four years as offensive coordinator at West Texas A&M (2006-09) when the Buffaloes broke 64 school and Lone Star Conference records. His offense was ranked in Division II Top 10 in scoring, passing and total offense for three seasons (2007-09).

Parr and his wife, Kyla, have three children: Berkeley (12), Nash (9) and Knox (9).                

Scott Power will be joining the Bulldogs as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Power comes to Ruston after spending the past three seasons in the same role at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas.

“I know firsthand the type of coach and defensive play caller Scott is,” said Cumbie. “His defenses play tough, aggressive, and are prepared very well. Scott has worked his way up through the ranks and has been a winner at every level. I cannot wait to work with Scott and his family to bring many wonderful moments to Louisiana Tech Football.”

During the past three seasons at Stephen F. Austin, Power signed back-to-back Top 5 recruiting classes on the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), including the No. 3 class in 2019 and the No. 5 class in 2020. Both of those classes included the No. 1 overall signee in the FCS ranks.

“I am very excited to join the Bulldog Football Family,” said Power. “I’m very appreciative of Coach Cumbie for this opportunity. I look forward to adding to the already strong tradition that exists at Louisiana Tech. I cannot wait to meet the team and get started.”

Power’s 2021 defense at Stephen F. Austin ranked among the best in the Western Athletic Conference and in the nation, helping lead the Lumberjacks to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. SFA ranked No. 1 in the WAC in scoring defense, total defense, takeaways, sacks and opponent third down conversion percentage.

SFA posted an 8-4 with close losses to FBS Texas Tech (L, 28-22; Sonny Cumbie’s former school) and No. 1 ranked Sam Houston State (L, 21-20). The Lumberjacks fell 35-28 in overtime to Incarnate Word.

The previous season saw SFA rank No. 2 in the Southland Conference in scoring defense and total defense and No. 1 in pass defense efficiency, interceptions and takeaways. Power coached the 2020 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Freshman of the Year. During is time at SFA, he coached 14 all-conference recipients, including nine first teamers.

During his one year at Texas A&M Commerce, Power served as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. His defense ranked in the top 10 in the country in pass defense efficiency, tackles for loss, opponent third down conversion percentage, opponents first downs and yards per play. Texas A&M-Commerce ranked No. 9 in the AFCA poll and earned a spot in the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Power also coached at Central Washington (2016-17: Defensive Coordinator), Marion University (Ind.) (2013-15: Defensive Coordinator) and Wartburg College (2009-12: Linebackers, Defensive Line). 

He orchestrated Top 10 defenses at every stop along the way as he eventually moved up to the FCS level.

He has coached nine all-Americans, 63 all-conference selections and 16 all-region honorees during his career and was named the 2015 NAIA Coordinator of the Year by and the Mid-States Football Association Assistant Coach of the Year the same season.

Power and his wife, Megan, have two sons — Troy and Thad — and two daughters — Tatum and Teryn. 

Tech has also hired JaMarkus McFarland as the defensive line coach for the Bulldogs.

McFarland was an all-Big 12 performer at Oklahoma and a professional football player in the Canadian Football League prior to entering the coaching profession. He is coming from Stephen F. Austin.

“JaMarkus McFarland brings a wealth of experience from his playing days and his coaching stops at OU and SFA,” said Cumbie. “I know firsthand how hard his players play for him, and how well coached they are. All you need to know about a coach is how their players play on film and JaMarkus’ players play with great technique, passion, and physicality. Under JaMarkus’ leadership they will do that at Louisiana Tech.”

McFarland spent the past three seasons at Stephen F. Austin and helped lead the Lumberjacks to a national ranking and a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs this year as the assistant head coach and defensive line coach.

“My family and I are extremely excited to join Coach Sonny Cumbie and the rest of the staff at Louisiana Tech,” said McFarland. “I’m encouraged by the successful tradition of this program, and I look forward to what the future holds for us.”

His tutelage of the SFA defensive line helped the program to a 40-sack season in 2021, including a combined 27 sacks by three of his defensive lineman. SFA ranked No. 3 in the country in sacks this past season while posting an 8-4 mark before falling in overtime in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

The Stephen F. Austin defense ranked among the best in the Western Athletic Conference and in the nation, helping lead the Lumberjacks to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. SFA ranked No. 1 in the WAC in scoring defense, total defense, takeaways, sacks and opponent third down conversion percentage.

The 2020 season saw SFA rank No. 2 in the Southland Conference in scoring defense and total defense and No. 1 in pass defense efficiency, interceptions and takeaways.

Prior to his time in Nacogdoches, Texas, McFarland served as a defensive graduate assistant at his alma mater as the Sooners won three straight Big 12 Championships during those three years, while playing in the 2016 Sugar Bowl, 2017 Rose Bowl and 2018 Orange Bowl.

As a player at OU, McFarland — a Lufkin, Texas, native — was a four-year letterman, All-Big 12 Freshman Team honoree and a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member while helping the Sooners to three Big 12 championships and a spot in the College Football Playoffs on two separate occasions.

He was signed by the NFL’s San Diego Chargers in the summer of 2013 and by the Canadian Football League’s British Columbia Lions in 2015.

McFarland earned his bachelor’s degree in human relations from Oklahoma in 2012 and his master’s in human relations with a perfect 4.0 grade point average from OU in 2017.

He is married to Shakiyla and the couple has a two-year-old son, JaMarkus, Jr.

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