MSUN Football Moves Forward after Samson Resignation - News, Sports and Weather

MSUN Football Moves Forward after Samson Resignation

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 MSU-Northern's whole season was thrown for a loop before it could even begin. when Mark Samson suddenly resigned.

On Wednesday, the school announced that Mark Samson resigned. In a statement, Samson said he placed funds from a summer football camp into an off campus account.

But the Lights are moving forward.

Football practice on Thursday looked like it usually did. But deep down, the Lights were trying to regroup after losing their leader of a decade.

"My first thought process with Coach Samson is family," said interim head coach Jake Eldridge. "He was someone that I was very close with. It was just a hard situation for everybody and it continues to be."

Eldridge is tasked with leading the team through this tough time. He has been on Samson's staff for years and won a state title playing for him at Helena Capital. Eldridge and his coaches will lean on the upperclassmen to provide on-field leadership.

"The last couple days have been very rough," says Eldridge. "But we have great leadership. Veterans on our team have picked things back up. They're showing a lot of leadership for the younger kids. They understand the task at hand is to prepare themselves to play a football game. So they're getting ready for Montana Tech right now."

MSUN asked us to wait a week before talking to the players, but the student-athletes have been vocal on Twitter.

""Thank you Coach Samson for giving me a second chance to play the game I love. This season is for you" says Defensive Back Malcolm Manuel on twitter.

"You are the heart and soul of this program. This team stands by your side and this season is for you. Love you Coach thanks for everything," tweets Quarterback Travis Dean, who is the son-in-law of Samson.

MSU-Northern will begin a nation-wide search for a new head coach as soon as possible. The immediate plan is to go with Eldridge for this year so a new coach wouldn't be implemented till 2015.

"We're pretty committed to keeping the coaching staff where it is," says MSUN Athletic Director Christian Oberquell. "We're getting a search committee together and finding the right people to be on that search committee. I will head up that search committee so that we can make the best recommendation for these kids."

Oberquell says the only coaching hiring for football they will make this year is for a position coach to help the suddenly short-handed coaching staff. Eldridge said it wouldn't be for an offensive coordinator, which Samson was supposed to take over since the previous offensive coordinator, Samson's son Kyle, took the coaching job at Kalispell Flathead. Eldridge prefers someone to work with the Quarterbacks.

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