McFarland joins Cumbie staff at LA Tech

Another day, another hire for Sonny Cumbie.

The newly-named Louisiana Tech head coach announced that JaMarkus McFarland has been hired as the defensive line coach for the Bulldogs.

McFarland was an all-Big 12 performer at Oklahoma and a professional football player in the Canadian Football League prior to entering the coaching profession. He is coming from Stephen F. Austin.

“JaMarkus McFarland brings a wealth of experience from his playing days and his coaching stops at OU and SFA,” said Cumbie. “I know firsthand how hard his players play for him, and how well coached they are. All you need to know about a coach is how their players play on film and JaMarkus’ players play with great technique, passion, and physicality. Under JaMarkus’ leadership they will do that at Louisiana Tech.”

McFarland spent the past three seasons at Stephen F. Austin and helped lead the Lumberjacks to a national ranking and a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs this year as the assistant head coach and defensive line coach.

“My family and I are extremely excited to join Coach Sonny Cumbie and the rest of the staff at Louisiana Tech,” said McFarland. “I’m encouraged by the successful tradition of this program, and I look forward to what the future holds for us.”

His tutelage of the SFA defensive line helped the program to a 40-sack season in 2021, including a combined 27 sacks by three of his defensive lineman. SFA ranked No. 3 in the country in sacks this past season while posting an 8-4 mark before falling in overtime in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

The Stephen F. Austin defense ranked among the best in the Western Athletic Conference and in the nation, helping lead the Lumberjacks to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. SFA ranked No. 1 in the WAC in scoring defense, total defense, takeaways, sacks and opponent third down conversion percentage.

The 2000 season saw SFA rank No. 2 in the Southland Conference in scoring defense and total defense and No. 1 in pass defense efficiency, interceptions and takeaways.

Prior to his time in Nacogdoches, Texas, McFarland served as a defensive graduate assistant at his alma mater as the Sooners won three straight Big 12 Championships during those three years, while playing in the 2016 Sugar Bowl, 2017 Rose Bowl and 2018 Orange Bowl.

As a player at OU, McFarland – a Lufkin, Texas, native – was a four-year letterman, All-Big 12 Freshman Team honoree and a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member while helping the Sooners to three Big 12 championships and a spot in the College Football Playoffs on two separate occasions.

He was signed by the NFL’s San Diego Chargers in the summer of 2013 and by the Canadian Football League’s British Columbia Lions in 2015.

McFarland earned his bachelor’s degree in human relations from Oklahoma in 2012 and his master’s in human relations with a perfect 4.0 grade point average from OU in 2017.

He is married to Shakiyla and the couple has a two-year-old son, JaMarkus, Jr.

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