Coaching carousel: Fobbs to ULM, Hull to GSU

Broderick Fobbs is departing Ruston High to join the ULM coaching staff.

By T. Scott Boatright

The college football coaching merry-go-round is in full swing.

And making impacts in Lincoln and Ouachita Parishes.

Reports say that the University of Louisiana-Monroe is set to hire Broderick Fobbs, the former Grambling State University head coach who spent last season as volunteer running backs coach at Ruston High School.

It will be a Homecoming of sorts for Fobbs, a Carroll High School graduate whose parents still live in Monroe, his father Lee’s hometown.

Fobbs will fill the void as running backs coach at ULM. Tony Hull was running backs coach at ULM last season but is reportedly set to be named offensive coordinator at Grambling State under second-year head coach Hue Jackson.

As head coach at Grambling State, Fobbs guided the Tigers to a 54-32 overall record, including two Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships, two Celebration Bowl appearances and a Black College Football National Championship. He was also a three-time SWAC Coach of the Year.  

Fobbs, who grew up as a part of the Grambling State football program when his father Lee Fobbs was a graduate assistant coach there in the 1970s, was removed as head coach of the G-Men in November of 2021, shortly before GSU’s final game of that season against Southern at the Bayou Classic at the New Orleans Superdome.

As his father was before him, Fobbs was a Grambling running back under the legendary Eddie G. Robinson from 1992-96. Fobbs’ father also spent time as head coach at his prep alma mater — Carroll High School in Monroe, where the younger Fobbs spent his high school years and graduated from before moving on to play for the G-Men.  

After kicking off his coaching career on the high school level, Fobbs first worked as a college coach as a graduate assistant for the University of Louisiana-Lafayette with then-head coach Jerry Baldwin, current pastor of New Living Word Ministries in Ruston.

Fobbs coached at Northwestern State from 2002-07 and went to Lake Charles to coach at McNeese State University. He spent a season at Southern Mississippi as wide receivers coach before returning to McNeese to coach tight ends for the Cowboys.

At Ruston last season Fobbs coached running back Dyson Fields, who earned Class 5A honorable mention despite struggling with injuries throughout the season, as well as up-and-coming Bearcats sophomore running back Jordan Hayes, who filled in admirably for the Bearcats during Fields’ absence, including rushing for 171 yards and two touchdowns during Ruston’s 48-7 Homecoming win over West Ouachita.

Hull, a former standout at Louisiana-Lafayette, worked for NASA before entering the coaching ranks. He was associate head coach and running backs coach at Kansas from 2016-19 and as the co-offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach at Hawai’i in 2020.

At Kansas, Hull coached Pooka Williams Jr., who many Ruston High football fans will remember rushing for 303 yards and three touchdowns in a 23-21 Class 5A quarterfinals win over the Bearcats at L.J. “Hoss” Garrett Stadium.

Under Hull’s guidance at Kansas Williams recorded consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2018 and 2019, a feat that had only been accomplished once before in Kansas football history by James Sims in 2012 and 2013.

At Kansas, Williams earned second-team All-America and first-team Freshman All-America honors in 2018, compiling a total of 1,125 yards, eighth best in KU single-season history, and ranking sixth in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with 150.9 all-purpose yards per game. The Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Williams led the Big 12 in kick returns and his 1,660 all-purpose yards rank third on the Wildcats’ single-season list.

Williams went on to become the first Kansas offensive player to earn first-team honors since KU joined the Big 12, and only the second Jayhawk ever to earn first-team recognition in back-to-back seasons.

At Kansas, Hull also coached running back Khalil Herbert, who currently plays for the Chicago Bears after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft by the Bears.

Hull also served as head coach at  Warren Easton High School in 2007, which was that school’s first season playing football following Hurricane Katrina.

At Warren Easton Hull guided the Eagles to playoffs in seven of his nine seasons, including a state championship game appearance in 2014 and a state semifinals berth in 2015.

Last season former Louisiana Tech and NFL running back John Simon served as offensive coordinator for Grambling after initially signing on Jackson’s initial GSU staff as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach.

But on Feb. 28 of last year, four days after being announced as offensive coordinator at GSU, former Baylor head coach Art Briles resigned from Jackson’s staff following a firestorm of controversy because of Briles’ history, which including being fired from Baylor after a legal review board determined that Briles and his staff failed to properly handle Title IX issues on his team.

That left Grambling without an offensive coordinator with spring football workouts drawing near, leading Jackson to tab Simon to take over additional duties as GSU’s offensive coordinator.

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