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Lions sign Carthel for 3 more years with option for 5

Colby Carthel has led A&M-Commerce to two consecutive Lone Star Conference football championships.
Colby Carthel has led A&M-Commerce to two consecutive Lone Star Conference football championships.

 Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Dan Jones and Director of Athletics Tim McMurrayannounced today that Head Coach Colby Carthel has signed a three-year contract that keeps him at the helm of the Lions football program through the 2018 season, with opportunities in the agreement to extend it through 2020.
"In my short time with Lion Athletics, it is apparent to me that Coach Carthel is the right person to lead our football program – now and moving forward," McMurray said. "I have had the privilege to engage directly with Coach Carthel and align on both philosophy and detailed vision.  Our student-athletes are not only coached well, but they are also mentored and cared for in an exceptional manner." 
"As I have met with our student-athletes, donors, campus partners, community, and alumni, it further validates this opportunity to provide stability for both our program and our coaching staff.  I am ecstatic that we will retain Colby, Sarah, and Major as members of the Lion family," McMurray added.
President Jones, who was involved directly in hiring Carthel three years ago, expressed full support of the contract.
"This contract is validation of our institution's commitment to Colby and his desire to continue building this program to national relevance," Jones said.  "While this season has been remarkable, I'm equally excited about the future of our program under Colby's leadership. The future of Lion football is exceptionally bright."
Carthel has led the Lions for the past three seasons, going 24-12 during that time span. The 24 wins in his first three seasons are the most for a third-year coach dating all the way back to M.A. Smith's 1950-1953 seasons when Smith directed the Lions to 30 wins to open his coaching career.Carthel's Lions became the first teams to appear in the postseason in three consecutive seasons after playing in the Live United Texarkana Bowl in 2013, appearing in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl in 2014 and making the program's first NCAA Playoff appearance in 20 years during 2015.
"Sarah, Major, and I are proud to call A&M-Commerce home and look forward to keeping it that way for many years to come," Carthel said.  "As a coach, you're always looking for a place with a high quality administration that supports their coaches and student-athletes, provides the resources you need to be successful, and an All-American community where you'd be excited to raise a family.  We've definitely found all three of those things in Commerce."
"We've had fun the last few years reviving this historic program and winning back-to-back Lone Star Conference titles. What's really exciting, though, is what lies ahead as we continue to build Lion Football back into a perennial national power."
Under Carthel's direction, the Lions have claimed back-to-back Lone Star Conference Championships for the first time since 1958 and 1959 seasons with the 2014 and 2015 crowns. His team led the NCAA in points scored on the offensive side and in tackles for loss on the defensive side in 2014. The Lions also set an NCAA Division II record with 986 total yards of offense in the 2014 season opener.  Sixty-seven of Carthel's Lions earned All-Lone Star Conference in his three seasons, with six Lions claiming All-Americans status.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.