Larry Porter one of the strongest recruiters in the country, is accepting the head coaching job at the University of Memphis again. Porter, 37, said he will bring a passion and energy to the program that a former player should bring. The former Memphis running back was introduced to about 500 members of the Tiger fan base and former players on the school’s campus. Porter said. “I thank God and my family for allowing me the opportunity I’ve been given to come home and be the coach of this team,” “I thank President (Shirley) Raines and R.C. for trusting me enough to ask me to be the coach.” Porter replaces Tommy West, who was fired Nov. 9 after nine seasons. Porter inherits a program that went 2-10 this past season and will lose the better part of its offense to graduation including two of the quarterbacks that started this season (Arkelon Hall and Will Hudgens).

Porter ranks sixth in career rushing at Memphis with 2,194 yards, and scored 20 touchdowns from 1990-93. He later coached at Tennessee-Martin, Arkansas State and Oklahoma State before joining Les Miles at LSU, where Porter has coached running backs since 2005. Porter was named National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com in both 2007 and 2009. In ’07, LSU finished with the nation’s No. 4 recruiting class and No. 2 in ’09. LSU’s 2010 class is currently ranked No. 4. Porter’s wife, Sharmane, is also a Memphis graduate, and she said she was happy to be back in Memphis.

As LSU’s running backs coach, Porter has helped developed some of the finest players at that position in school history. In four years with the Tigers, LSU has produced a 1,000-yard rusher twice – Jacob Hester 1,103 yards in 2007 and Charles Scott 1,174 yards in 2008. In 2008, LSU again had one of the top running games in the SEC as the Tigers rushed for 166.8 yards per game with Scott getting the bulk of the carries (1,174 yards on 217 attempts). Scott, who earned first-team All-SEC in 2008, and Keiland Williams (417 yards, 2 TDs on 83 attempts) gave the Tigers one of the top 1-2 rushing punches in the league last year. Porter and the Tigers had a running back-by-committee approach during the national championship season in 2007 with Hester leading all rushers with a career-best 1,103 yards and 11 TDs. Hester, who was a second-team All-SEC selection, had four 100-yard rushing games, including a 120-yard effort against Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game. Following the 2007 season, Hester was picked in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Hester became the fourth running back coached by Porter that has been selected among the first three rounds of the NFL Draft since 2004.

In 2006, Porter juggled running backs as the Tigers started four different players, including two true freshmen, at tailback. At Oklahoma State, Porter’s stable of running backs continued the tradition of “Tailback U.”, as he coached 1,000-yard rushers for three straight seasons. Porter spent three years at Arkansas State, where he coached Jonathan Adams to back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Adams rushed for 1,004 yards and six touchdowns in 2000 and followed that with another 1,004 yards and five scores in 2001. Under Porter’s tutelage, Adams capped his career as the second-leading rusher in Arkansas State history. Porter began his coaching career at Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tenn., serving as head track and field coach. After two years at Wooddale, Porter moved to the collegiate ranks, coaching the running backs at Tennessee-Martin in 1998. During his playing days, Porter was a four-year letterwinner at Memphis where he was co-captain of the 1993 Tiger squad. Porter capped his career as the fourth-leading rusher in Memphis history, totaling 2,194 yards and 20 touchdowns. Porter’s 2,194 rushing yards currently ranks No. 6 in Memphis history, while his 20 rushing TDs is fourth all-time at the school. In all, Porter led the Tigers in rushing yards for three years during his career.

As a rookie in 1990, Porter rushed for 206 yards against Arkansas State, the highest single-game total for a freshman in school history. Porter had a total of six 100-yard games during his career, a figure that ranks fourth in Memphis history. Porter graduated from Memphis in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in education. A native of Jackson, Miss., Porter and his wife Sharmane have three children, Brandon, Omari and Olivia.

The Porter File
Year at LSU: Fifth
Birthdate: April 28, 1972, in Jackson, Miss.
Wife: Sharmane
Children: Brandon, Omari, Olivia
High School: Columbus (Ga.)
College: Memphis, ’96

Playing Experience
1990-93 Memphis (running back)

Coaching Experience
1998 Tennessee-Martin (running backs)
1999-2001 Arkansas State (running backs)
2002-2004 Oklahoma State (running backs)
2005- LSU (running backs; assistant head coach, 2006)

Bowl Experience
As a coach
2002 Houston Bowl (Oklahoma State def. Southern Miss, 33-23)
2004 Cotton Bowl (Oklahoma State lost to Ole Miss, 31-28)
2004 Alamo Bowl (Oklahoma State lost to Ohio State, 33-7)
2005 Peach Bowl (LSU def. Miami, 40-3)
2007 Sugar Bowl (LSU def. Notre Dame, 41-14)
2008 BCS National Championship Game (LSU def. Ohio State, 38-24)
2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl (LSU def. Georgia Tech, 38-3)

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