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Sources: Longtime FCS head coach, current FBS staffer to lead upstart South Carolina D2 program

One of the South's most veteran coaches is poised to lead the start-up efforts at Anderson University, a former two-year college that has boomed in enrollment in South Carolina's Upstate region.

Bobby Lamb is expected to be named the inaugural head coach of Anderson University's football program, multiple sources told FootballScoop on Thursday.

Lamb, a veteran college coach with previous head coaching stints at Furman and Mercer, most recently was a staff member for Billy Napier's Louisiana Cajuns' program.

He's been a fixture in Southern college football for decades, starring as a player for the Paladins before embarking on a long coaching career.

Anderson announced in 2019 it intends to move forward with football, beginning in the 2024 season.

“After years of discussion, careful consideration and operating from a position of academic and financial strength, Anderson University’s Board of Trust is adding a Trojan football program as its next successful athletic team,” AU President Dr. Evans P. Whitaker said at the time. “In the past several years, Anderson has experienced exponential growth in enrollment, added innovative academic programs and enjoyed the best national and regional rankings in the history of the University, among them being recognized as 27th in the nation for student engagement by the Wall Street Journal, and being named an Apple Distinguished School for the last six years. With this firm foundation, and the magnificent gift we’ve secured, the time is right to offer Trojan football to our community.”

Not to be confused with the Indiana university of the same name, this Anderson University is located in Anderson, S.C., south of Interstate 85 in between Greenville and the Georgia border. Founded in 1911, Anderson is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and educates around 3,000 undergraduates - a number close to 4,000 now with Anderson's graduate-student enrollment.

The Trojans compete in the Division II South Atlantic Conference, a conference dotted by the likes of Catawba, Carson-Newman, Wingate, Lenoir-Rhyne and Tusculum College.

Lamb will be charged with getting the Anderson Trojans' program ready to compete on the field in the 2024 season. The Trojans' first signing class will be 2023, and they will add another 2024 signing class before beginning their on-field competition with a transitional season in the fall of '24.

It was announced earlier Thursday Anderson has secured a $1 million deal for a 25-year naming rights contract for the stadium, henceforth known as Spero Financial Field at Dr. Melvin and Dollie Younts Stadium.

Born on Christmas Eve in 1962, Lamb has been a mainstay in the South Carolina and Georgia small college scene for four decades now. He played quarterback at Furman in the mid-1980s, then immediately joined his alma mater's coaching staff upon graduation in 1986. He remained a Furman assistant until 2001, when he was promoted to head coach.

Lamb took the Paladins to the FCS playoffs in 2002 and 2004-06, reaching the FCS (then Division I-AA) quarterfinals in '04 and the semifinals in '05. He remained Furman's head coach through 2010, going 67-40.

Lamb resigned as Furman's head coach after the 2010 season, and in January 2011 took the Mercer job, serving as the Bears' inaugural coach. He launched that program at the FCS level in 2013, going 10-2 in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League before joining the SoCon in 2014. He remained the Bears' head coach through 2019, going 41-39.

He joined Billy Napier's Louisiana program in 2020 as an analyst and assistant to the head coach. He helped the Cajuns to the best season in program history, going 10-1 with a Sun Belt co-championship, a road win over Big 12 runner-up and Fiesta Bowl champion Iowa State, and a No. 15 AP final ranking, a school record.