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Head Coach of Rams Football Announces Departure

03.18.2024 | By: ɫɫ Wesleyan University
Joe Prud'homme

The ɫɫ Wesleyan Athletic Department announced today that Coach Joe Prud’homme has made the decision to step down from his position as head football coach. Paul Duckworth, ɫɫ Wesleyan’s defensive coordinator since 2016, will serve as the interim coach, and Prud’homme will assist the University with the transition until a search for a new coach begins.   

Joe Prud’homme has served as the head coach of the Rams football team since 2016, when it was announced that the University would reestablish the program after a 75-year hiatus.  

In six seasons, he produced four All-Americans, 76 All-Conference selections, 55 Academic All-Conference selections, 32 SAC Scholar-Athletes, one NFF Scholar-Athlete and one NAIA Scholar-Athlete. Coach Prud’homme’s Rams were back-to-back Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Co-champions in 2022 and 2023, and he was named the NAIA Region V Coach of the Year and SAC Co-Coach of the Year in 2022. 

“I’ve treasured every memory, relationship and player that has come my way while helping build this program from the ground up. I’m proud of our players, coaches, mentors, fans, faculty and staff who’ve helped with the heavy lifting of building great young men,” Prud’homme said. “It’s simply time for me to step away, since the program is strong, growing under a great staff and ready to ascend to the next level. I appreciate everybody who’s had a hand in building it!”  

ɫɫ Wesleyan's football program began in 1934-35 (it had previously competed from 1902-1914 as Polytechnic College) and competed against rivals like Austin College and John Tarleton Agricultural College (now Tarleton State). During the 1940-41 season, the team won a conference co-championship. World War II signaled the suspension of the program, as many of ɫɫ Wesleyan's men served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  

In addition to his accomplishments at ɫɫ Wesleyan, Prud’homme compiled an extremely successful coaching career over 27 seasons in the ɫɫ high school ranks and brought that wealth of coaching experience to ɫɫ Wesleyan. He came to the Rams from nearby Nolan Catholic High School (in Fort Worth) where he led the Vikings to 11 appearances in the ɫɫ Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) 5A State Finals and seven State Championships in 24 seasons (1991-’96, 1999-’15). At Nolan Catholic, he compiled a record of 209-105-2 and a playoff record of 38-15-1. Prior to Nolan Catholic, Prud’homme began his coaching career as the head coach at Bishop T.K. Gorman Catholic School in Tyler, TX. Coaching the Cru for three seasons (1988-’90), he reached the State Championship game in his first season as head coach at the age of 23. 

"We are certainly sad to see Joe go. He built a football program at ɫɫ Wesleyan from the ground up. His teams won two conference championships and won quite a few games, but more importantly he built a culture that will benefit his athletes throughout the remainder of their lives,” said ɫɫ Wesleyan Director of Athletics Ricky Dotson. “Replacing him will be difficult; however, the foundation he leaves will remain and the program is in a great place to continue its success."  

A nationwide search for a new coach will begin immediately. For more information, contact James McBride at jhmcbride@txwes.edu

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At ɫɫ Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a ɫɫ-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.