Furman rewards Hendrix with multi-year extension

After three Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs games, as well as a share of a Southern Conference title in his first four years, Clay Hendrix has received a new, long-term extension atop the Furman University football program.
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After three Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs games, as well as a share of a Southern Conference title in his first four years, Clay Hendrix has received a new, long-term extension atop the Furman University football program.

FU officials announced the deal on Monday but did not specify the length or financial terms of Hendrix's new deal.

Multiple sources Monday afternoon told FootballScoop that Hendrix, who was in the final year of his original five-year pact, had been extended back out to a five-year term.

"Since returning to Furman in 2016, Clay Hendrix has continued the long-standing Paladin football tradition of successful, high-character and hard-working head coaches," said Furman Athletics Director Jason Donnelly in a statement. "Clay's teams are a strong reflection of Furman's commitment to academic and athletics excellence as they consistently compete for championships, achieve in the classroom, and graduate their student-athletes.

“Clay is widely respected by his peers, alumni and donors, which is demonstrated through their generous support. We appreciate Clay, LeeAnn (wife, also a Furman graduate), and his coaching staff's contributions to the community and support their goals and aspirations for the program. We are excited Clay will be leading Furman football for years to come."

Aside from struggling through this past spring's pandemic season, the Paladins have enjoyed considerable success since Hendrix returned to his alma mater in December 2016.

Furman immediately broke through under Hendrix in 2017, when it finished as SoCon runner-up – losing on the last day of the regular season at Samford in a game that helped decide the conference's final pecking order – and advanced into the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

That debut campaign initiated a three-year tour de force of sorts through the conference; Furman was 18-6 in conference play in Hendrix's first three full seasons back at Furman.

The Paladins then won a share of the SoCon crown in 2018 and returned to the postseason in 2019.

This spring season, Furman endured a 3-1 campaign that began with plenty of optimism – and a 3-1 start that dissolved into the 3-4 finish. The Paladins' season-ending game against rival Wofford was not played due to COVID-19 protocols and roster numbers.

Now, Hendrix enters Year 5 with his future firmly secured and Furman also showing renewing commitment to the football program. The school last month installed an all-new FieldTurf 360 playing surface inside Paladin Stadium, which hosts Furman in its Sept. 4 season-opener against North Carolina A&T.

The Paladins then have additional non-conference games at Tennessee Tech and North Carolina State before they begin a stretch of eight-straight SoCon contests against Mercer Sept. 25.