- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) - Northwestern State has named Daryl Daye its new defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

Daye, head coach for the past three seasons at Division II Missouri Southern in Joplin, announced his departure from the Lions’ program Thursday to join the Demons’ program and coach Jay Thomas. Daye replaces Mike Lucas, who joined Louisiana-Lafayette’s staff as a linebackers coach in the offseason.

Northwestern State, located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, is about two hours from Baton Rouge and Daye’s parents, who Daye said Thursday have been fighting cancer issues. In the previous offseason, Daye had been a finalist for the special teams coordinator at his alma mater, Louisiana State.

“I’m 52 and kind of looking at the valley a little bit. A couple of days ago, it just came down to the decision to be with the family,” the Joplin Globe quoted Daye as saying Thursday.

Daye, who went 17-15 at Missouri Southern, had been the Lions’ defensive coordinator for four seasons and eight seasons at Liberty. He also spent two seasons with the Buffalo Bills assisting then-head coach Dave Wannstedt.

Thomas said Daye will be on campus within days to begin preparations for spring practice.

Missouri Southern named offensive coordinator and assistant head coach H.T. Kinney the Lions’ interim head coach.

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