ETBU Hires TVCC Coach To Run Football Program - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/13/06-Marshall

ETBU Hires TVCC Coach To Run Football Program

East Texas Baptist University has stayed in East Texas to fill their vacant head football coaching position, hiring Trinity Valley coach Mark Sartain today.  Sartain, who has coached at Trinity Valley for the past four seasons, was the 2005 Southwest Junior College Football Conference coach of the year, after leading the Cardinals to the conference championship and a number seven national ranking.

In moving to East Texas Baptist, Sartain says he has found what could be as close to a perfect fit for him as he could find.

"It's the personal fit, philosophy wise, what that institute stands for, what they represent and promote," Sartain said.  "It's something we've always tried to promote in our programs and It's quite a privelege when you are given the oppportunity to do what you do for a living at a place that is so closely associated with what you believe.  We're honored and blessed and excited about the future."

Switching from the junior college ranks to Division III football also offers some unique new challenges.  It's those challenges that Sartain finds intriguing.

"Really, the biggest difference is your target audience," Sartain said.  "What you offer a young man to come to a program like ETBU is really more about the people he is going to be with and the time he's going to spend there, and the things he's going to gain in a lot of other areas.  And of course, you're looking for those men who are desperately desiring to play football at the next level.  They have to do that at Division III.  It's a joy to coach those kids."

"We are thrilled to have Mark join us here at ETBU," said ETBU Athletic Director Kent Reeves. "He brings a long history and reputation as a strong Christian coach with outstanding character, and he's got the collegiate coaching experience we were looking for in our search."

Sartain becomes just the second coach of the program since ETBU brought back it's football team in 2000 following a 50-year absence.  He replaces Ralph Harris, who resigned last month after seven years with the Tigers.

Sartain played college football and graduated from Austin College in 1983. While a player at Austin College, he was part of the Kangaroos' 1981 NAIA Division II championship team.

While a native of Van Alstyne, Sartains entire head coaching career has been based in East Texas.  Besides Trinity Valley, he has coached at Cross Roads, Eustace and White Oak.  As head coach at White Oak from May 1995 to January 2003, Sartain led the Roughnecks to the playoffs three times, including winning the program's first district championship in 18 years in 1998. Earlier in his career at Cross Roads, Sartain posted the school's first winning season in history in 1987 and led the program to a district runner-up finish in 1988.

Sartain left the high school ranks in 1991 to become offensive coordinator at Trinity Valley Community College, where he was part of a staff that led the Cardinals to the 1994 NJCAA National Championship and a perfect 12-0 record. He left Trinity Valley in 1995 to become the head coach at White Oak.

After eight seasons with the Roughnecks, Sartain returned to Trinity Valley as head coach. In his third season with the Cardinals, Sartain guided TVCC to a 9-3 mark that included a regional championship and a win in the Pilgrim's Pride Bowl.

At ETBU, Sartain takes over a program that finished 3-7 this past season, with three wins in its final five games. The Tigers are a member of the American Southwest Conference.

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