Guidry brings big personality to new job

WKU Head coach Willie Taggart (left) and new defensive coordinator Lance Guidry discuss the past and the future of WKU football in a press conference Friday. The announcement officially introduced Guidry as the Toppers’ new DC.

Emily Patton

It’s hard to match Head Coach Willie Taggart’s enthusiasm, but WKU’s coaching staff may have found a person who can.

On Friday, Taggart announced his hire of Lance Guidry, who comes from Miami (Ohio), as new defensive coordinator for the Toppers.

Guidry was the defensive backs coach for the Red Hawks for the past two seasons and served as interim head coach during Miami’s 35-21 win over Middle Tennessee in the 2011 Bowl.

While three others interviewed for the position, Taggart said it was Guidry’s personality seen in a YouTube video that helped win him the job.

“When we lost coach (Clint) Bowen, I felt our defense needed someone with a lot of energy and was very enthusiastic and could motivate our guys and players,” Taggart said. “And like everyone else, I’ve seen his video on YouTube and was like, ‘That’s what I’m looking for.'”

The video of Guidry, which has created a sensation of more than 98,000 viewers, revealed an energetic side during his pregame speech in the locker room before Miami’s bowl win.

At the end of Guidry’s speech, he now-famously said, “Let’s go get our damn trophy.” Guidry joked it will be the first thing he says when he meets the Toppers’ defense.

“What you see with me is what you get,” Guidry said. “Very emotional, high strung, I coach really hard, and when they make a play, I’ll be more excited than they are. They are going to think I’m a crazy man.”

The emotion behind Guidry’s coaching is something Taggart said he hopes will translate well to a defense that has seen three defensive coordinators come and go in the last three years.

But it’s also a defense that is catching onto the “juice” Taggart has been preaching, and one that just recruited 10 players on the defensive side for the 2011 season.

“I’m a big believer from a defensive standpoint, the defense is going to play like the coordinator’s personality,” Taggart said. “Lance has a lot of energy, a lot of juice like we want and a little craziness out there, too. He brings that energy that we need on defense.

“It can’t be boring over there. That side of the ball is different, and you need someone that’s different.”

With the help of Guidry, Miami won the Mid-American Conference East division with a 7-1 record in 2010. Just a year earlier, the Red Hawks finished 1-7 in the conference.

That type of improvement is what Miami Director of Athletics Brad Bates said makes WKU very fortunate to have Guidry join its staff.

“Lance’s head coaching debut inspired not only our entire community, but became a national sensation because of his passion, sincerity, intellect and creativity,” Bates said.

For Guidry, it was destiny that he stepped into the interim coach position at Miami – and that his YouTube fame caught Taggart’s eye.

“You never know what the Lord’s plan is,” Guidry said. “I was going to follow (Mike Haywood) to Pitt and be a DB coach and triple my salary, then there was talk about applying for the head job at Miami, but that didn’t happen. Then there was Western Kentucky, and it was just the right place for my family. My wife’s excited, my children are excited, and that’s the most important thing for me.”