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UNA introduces Brent Dearmon as new head football coach

Dearmon becomes the 12th-ever head coach in program history

FLORENCE, Ala. — Today was another milestone in a historic year for North Alabama athletics as they officially introduced Brent Dearmon as the head coach of the football program. Dearmon is just the 12th person to lead Lions football.

In their first full year since elevating to the FCS, UNA went 1-10 with no wins against Division One teams. Dearmon comes to the Shoals after most recently being the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic.

The Saraland, Ala. native said he sees this as a place to win.

"A couple of years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, coaches were being given four or five years, six years to rebuild a program. So when you're looking at jobs, you've got to look at jobs that you can go in and win. There's no rebuilds anymore. So when I was able to look at the roster, I was able to look at what this place had to offer, I knew it was a place that we can come in and compete and win now."

Among his first moves as head coach was to meet with current players. He understands that player retention is crucial to this era of college football.

"I think you've got to recruit your own more than you ever have in college football. It's a it's something that high school coaches have been doing for a long time, though, because as a high school coach, you get kids plucked at any time. So you've got to have a great relationship with your current players."

This comes days after UNA's all-time rushing leader ShunDerrick Powell announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal.

Dearmon did admit building relationships with current players could be difficult in the early-going, as they are in the midst of preparations for final exams and then will be off campus for winter break.

But Dearmon began his tenure with this public ceremony and vocal support from the athletic administration, namely Josh Looney, who tried to hire Dearman when Looney was AD at Missouri Western.

"In 2017, our offensive coordinator had taken a Division 2 head coaching job," Looney recalled, "so I got with it with our head football coach. We said, 'well, let's find and hire the best sitting Division 2 offensive coordinator.' Brent Dearmon was the top of that list at that time. Brent interviews at Missouri Western. Probably would've gotten that job, but took a head coaching job at his alma mater."

Dearmon spent as the head coach at Bethel before becoming the offensive coordinator at Arkansas Tech from 2015-17.

Dearmon said he will spend the next week filling out his staff and then he'll get to recruiting. As far as the strategy, he says this upcoming year will be heavily focused on junior college and the transfer portal ranks going forward. He wants to focus on Alabama high school players.

While he said the incoming staff will have ties to high schools across the state, Dearmon's high school coaching experience came in the Mobile area. From 2008-10, Dearmon was the offensive coordinator at his alma mater Vigor High, where he won the 2008 5A state championship. From 2011-12 he was the head coach at Mobile's B.C. Rain High.

UNA is set to begin their 2022-23 season on August 31 at Chattanooga.

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