By Clay Ward
Former Eastern and Wake Forest defensive coordinator Dean Hood was named head coach at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday in the Student Services Building Auditorium.Hood, 44, will replace former Colonel head coach Danny Hope, becoming Eastern’s third head football coach in 44 years and 13th all-time. Leaving the Demon Deacons for his first head coaching position.
Hired on as a secondary coach in 1994, Hood would eventually become defensive coordinator under Roy Kidd from 97-98, winning two Ohio Valley Conference titles and making three NCAA playoff appearances from 94-97.
While at Wake Forest, Hood’s defense totaled 186 turnovers from 2001-2007, leading the Deacons to three bowls and winning two.
In 2006 Wake Forest lost its only bowl under Hood andwon a school record 11 games, earning a trip to play Louisville in the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl.
Eastern Athletic Director Mark Sandy explained just how much attention was paid to finding a coach by the university faithful.
“The interest and passion that encompasses Colonel Football was never more evident to me. This is my third year and I can say I’ve got more e-mails and calls about this than anything else so far,” Sandy said.
Sandy also explained how in the days after Hope’s departure there were 10-15 potential prospects, but only 5 who had direct contact with the athletic director.
“Dean’s kind of filtered up pretty quickly and I started to branch out and start talk to people about him,” Sandy said.
Hood told Sandy he had question and was interested.
“I went from intrigued about the job at Eastern Kentucky University to thinking I’ve got to have this job after talking to Mark Sandy,” said Hood.
Hood explained how three main coaches, since the beginning of his coaching career, have contributed to his own coaching methods.
First was former West Virginia and newly acquired Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez, someone Hood said wasn’t afraid to take chances with an innovative offense.
Hood said the most recent influence on his coaching career was Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe, a man of great faith remaining stoic and calm at all times on the sidelines.
Hood finished his list with one of Eastern’s own, hall of fame coach, Roy Kidd.
“He’s the most unbelievable competitor I’ve ever been around,” Hood said. “I thought I was a competitive guy . I was light years away from Roy Kidd.”
Hood told a story about George Washington and how the country asked if he could guarantee victory.
Washington replied with a note back saying, “No, but I can guarantee we will deserve victory.”
Hood finished his speech saying, “That’s my promise to all the people here, to Eastern Kentucky University, to president and athletic director, my family, my God, is that every Saturday we will deserve a victory.