Kevin Weston was announced Tuesday by the athletic department of Clark Atlanta University as the Panthers new head football coach at a press conference in the Bishop Cornelius L. Henderson Student Center.

“We wanted to be intentionally quick as well as thorough because from the end of the season to the time period where you must begin to lock in your recruitment and set your plans is very short, and we have met that objective,” Clark Atlanta President Carlton E. Brown said. “Weston knows the game inside and out and has proven his ability to build and grow successful teams; all these qualities create the kind of foundation necessary to ensure a focused and aggressive turnaround in our football program.”

Weston spent eight years on the coaching staff at his alma mater, Tusculum College, where in 2008 as assistant head coach, he helped lead the team to a 9-4 record while claiming the South Atlantic Conference Championship and a berth to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the first time in school history.

Known for his defensive prowess, Weston’s 2011 defensive unit finished second in the nation in pass defense, allowing teams to average just 140.6 passing yards per game.

“We are thrilled to have secured a rising star like Kevin Weston,” said Dr. Tamica Smith-Jones, Clark Atlanta’s director of athletics. “I believe he will be an ambassador for the program by winning local recruiting and reengaging the CAU fan base in new and exciting ways.”

Coach Weston believes that the ground movement to a turnaround begins with day to day coaching of little things such as making sure the players are living right from the classroom to the dorm room, then that will reflect what goes on the field.

Weston has also divided Metro Atlanta into 10 counties, Fulton County and the nine that surround it, for recruitment purposes.

“I believe that recruiting is definitely the pipeline to a successful program and we’re going to start off recruiting this Atlanta area, everything in the 150 miles of it,” Coach Weston said. “We’re going to put the ‘Atlanta’ back in Clark Atlanta.”

In November, the school dismissed five members of the football team’s coaching staff, including former Head Coach Daryl McNeill.

The Panthers finished the 2012 season in fourth place in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a conference record of 2-6 and went 2-8 overall.

Photo: James Pressley

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