Southeastern Louisiana's new head football coach, Frank Scelfo, was hired for his first coaching job as head football and baseball coach at Prairie View in 1982.
Frank Scelfo, who began his coaching career at Prairie View Academy, has returned to his south Louisiana roots. Southeastern Louisiana University appointed Scelfo as its new head football coach Tuesday afternoon.
A former baseball standout at Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM) where he was named the school's Athlete of the Year in 1981, Scelfo was hired as head football and baseball coach at Prairie View while completing his master's degree. In two years at Prairie View (1982-83), Scelfo guided the Spartans to the first district football championship in school history. Scelfo's two seasons on the diamond produced a state runner-up finish in 1982 and the first state title in program history in 1983. Tag Holley, Scelfo's former assistant, guided the Spartans to a second straight LISA state championship in 1984.
At Southeastern, Scelfo replaces Ron Rivera, who accepted the defensive coordinator's position at Louisiana Lafayette on Jan. 19. Rivera spent six seasons in Hammond where he directed the Lions to a 42-29 mark and a pair of Southland Conference titles. Southeastern was 35-14 (.714 winning percentage) in SLC play during Rivera's tenure. Hired from Delta State (Miss.), Rivera is by far the most successful coach since SLU reinstated football in 2003.
SLU went 6-5 with a 6-3 conference mark last fall. Regrouping from an 0-3 start, the Lions won six of their final eight games to post their fourth straight winning season.
This is Scelfo's first head coaching job. Aside from Prairie View, his only other head coaching experience came at River Oaks (1985-86).
Scelfo, who attended New Iberia High School in the southwestern part of the state, sees tremendous potential in the SLU program.
"There's a great opportunity to win championships on the conference and national level right here in Hammond," Scelfo told the school's athletics web site, lionsports.com. "Southeastern is a special place and I am honored to be back in Louisiana to lead the Lions."
With National Signing Day (Feb. 7) and spring practice (March 13) rapidly approaching, Scelfo doesn't have the luxury of easing into his new job. Scelfo says recruiting Louisiana is a priority.
"Our number one focus in recruiting will be the state of Louisiana," Scelfo said. "It's not just the talent in the area, but the passion the players in this state bring to the field. The type of student-athletes we're looking for to be Lions are right here in Louisiana."
The Scelfo era at Southeastern will officially begin on Sept. 1 when the Lions open the season against ULM in Malone Stadium.
Scelfo brings a wealth of experience to SLU. He spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas San Antonio.
Scelfo's résumé also includes a three-year stint in the NFL as quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-15). In Scelfo's final season with the Jaguars, Blake Bortles passed for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns.
As quarterbacks coach at Arizona from 2010-11, Scelfo tutored Nick Foles. A third-round draft pick in 2012, Foles will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.
Scelfo's first two college coaching stops were in-state. He held multiple positions at Tulane, including recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator, from 1996-2006, and was offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech from 2007-09.
Upon leaving Prairie View, Scelfo spent the 1984 season on Frank Monica's staff at New Orleans Jesuit. In addition to coaching at multiple Texas high schools, he was offensive coordinator at Kilgore (Texas) Community College from 1992-94.
Coaching is in the Scelfo's blood. Frank's father was a high school coach and his brother, Chris, was head coach at Tulane from 1998-2006. Chris Scelfo is currently the offensive line coach at the University of Houston.
Frank Scelfo and his wife, the former Holly Kingery, are the parents of two sons, Anthony and Jordan. Anthony Scelfo was recently hired as the new quarterbacks coach at Northwestern State. Jordan Scelfo played football and baseball at Incarnate Word (2012-15), SLU's Southland Conference rival.