Offensive Coaching Staff
Assistant Coach - Co-Defensive Coordinator / DBs
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Douglas will serve as the Cardinals co-defensive coordinator along with Melvin Smith. A coaching veteran of nearly 30 years, the majority of which has been spent at the FBS level, Douglas has a long track record of sending players on to the NFL. Over the course of his career, he has sent nearly 20 players on to the next level.
Among those who have advanced on to play in the NFL include Tracy Porter (Oakland Raiders), Mike Jenkins (Oakland Raiders), Nate Allen (Philadelphia Eagles), Da’Norris Searcy (Buffalo Bills) and Jerome Murphy (Washington Redskins).
Douglas’ coaching track record has made stops at Pittsburgh, Iowa State, North Carolina, South Florida, Indiana and Michigan State. He also has a familiarity with the state of Texas having spent four seasons at SMU and two at UTEP. In addition to his time in Texas, Douglas has also made FCS level coaching stops at East Tennessee State and Appalachian State.
Douglas brings 27 years of coaching experience to the Golden Triangle. He spent one season at Pittsburgh before his arrival in Beaumont. In addition to serving as co-defensive coordinator, Douglas will also coach the LU defensive backs.
Prior to his arrival at LU, Douglas spent one season at Pittsburgh and at Sam Houston State coaching defensive backs. Before making his way into the Southland Conference, Douglas spent two years at Iowa State where he developed three All-Big 12 performers. In his final year at Iowa State, Douglas coached All-Big 12 selection Jacques Washington, who sparked the Cyclones’ come-from-behind win at West Virginia with three takeaways (two interceptions and a fumble recovery).
Prior to his stint with the Cyclones, Douglas coached the defensive backs at North Carolina for three years (2009-11). The Tar Heels intercepted 38 passes over the 2009 and 2010 campaigns, ranking among the nation’s top 12 in that category each season.
From 2006-08, Douglas worked with the defensive backs at South Florida, helping the Bulls to three bowl bids. USF corner Mike Jenkins was a first-team All-American and the 2008 first-round draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys. In 2007, USF led the country in fumble recoveries and turnovers gained, while ranking fourth in interceptions. In 2008, the Bulls ranked 10th nationally in total defense.
In 2004 and 2005, Douglas coached at Indiana and worked with corner Tracy Porter, who went on to become an All-Big Ten performer and second-round pick of the New Orleans Saints. Porter had a game-clinching 74-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Saints’ 31-17 victory over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV.
Douglas’ additional coaching stops include South Carolina State (2003), Michigan State (2001-02), SMU (1997-2000), UTEP (1995-96), East Tennessee State (1992-94) and West Chester (1989-91).
A standout collegiate player himself, Douglas was a four-year starter at wide receiver for Appalachian State (1983-86), compiling 90 receptions for 1,401 yards to rank among the school’s all-time top five. He earned his bachelor’s degree from ASU in 1988.
Douglas and his wife, Rebecca, have two children, son Tanner and daughter Taryn.
Assistant Coach - Co-Defensive Coordinator
A veteran of 33 years, with the majority of that coming in the Southeastern Conference, Melvin Smith joins the LU coaching staff as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Smith comes to the Golden Triangle after spending the previous three years as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Prior to his time in Lafayette, Smith spent two seasons at Auburn where he helped the Tigers to the 2013 SEC Championship and a berth in the BCS Championship game. During his time in Auburn, Smith worked with a pair of All-SEC selections, Jonathan Jones and Jonathan Mincy, who were named to the 2014 second team.
In his first season with the Tigers, Smith was a key part of the second biggest turnaround in NCAA football history (+8 games) while his secondary made one of the most dramatic improvements in production, recording 13 interceptions (Auburn picked off just two passes in 2012).
Among his pupils in 2013 was senior cornerback Chris Davis who was a second-team AP All-SEC selection and made one of the top plays in the country with a 109-yard missed field goal return for a touchdown in a 34-28 victory over top-ranked Alabama.
Before his time in Auburn, the Taylorsville, Miss., native spent seven seasons at Mississippi State helping the Bulldogs to a No. 15 ranking in the final 2010 national polls and a berth in the Toyota Gator Bowl.
During his tenure at Mississippi State, Smith mentored Jonathan Banks, who won the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back. Banks also earned Walter Camp All-America honors and was a first-team All-SEC selection.
Smith also tutored a Bulldog defense that had 30 takeaways, which led the SEC and was 12th nationally. Darius Slay, a second-team All-SEC pick, tied for the league lead in interceptions with five, while Banks had four.
In 2009, Smith guided a young group that led the SEC with 17 interceptions. Led by then-freshman Corey Broomfield’s six picks, the corners improved as the season progressed. For his efforts, Broomfield was named Freshman All-SEC. In 2011, Smith continued to tutor Broomfield and Banks, who developed into an All-SEC performer and were named semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
Smith returned to Mississippi State in 2006 after spending time at both Alabama and Texas A&M. In just his second season back at MSU, Smith helped the Bulldogs’ pass defense rank fourth in the SEC, allowing just 182.2 yards per game, and sixth in pass efficiency defense (114.8) The Bulldogs improved their interception total from 12 to 15.
The 33-year coaching veteran went back to Mississippi State following three seasons at Texas A&M, where he coached the safeties. During his tenure in College Station, Smith helped the Aggies to a 7-4 regular-season record in 2004 and a berth in the 2005 Cotton Bowl. Smith coached the safeties at Alabama in 2002, where the Crimson Tide team posted a 10-3 regular-season record.
He was an assistant football coach at Mississippi State for seven years (1995-2001), helping guide the Bulldogs through the greatest period in the school’s football history. In 2000, three of his four defensive backfield starters signed professional football contracts. That secondary intercepted 19 passes, the second most in school history.
Smith has also served as an assistant coach at Ole Miss (1992-94) and Delta State (1990-91). He began his coaching career on the high school level at Greenwood (Miss.) in 1982. By the time he joined the Delta State staff in 1990, he had also joined the Army Reserves for a stint that would eventually last eight years.
Smith is married to the former Shelia McLemore and they are the parents of four children, sons Robert and Ricky, and daughters Deondra and Ashlee.
Assistant Coach - Special Teams Coord. / DL
A veteran of the Southland Conference, Todd Ivicic enters his first season on the Lamar University football staff as defensive line coach and special teams coordinator. Ivicic takes over an LU defensive line that lost three of four starters to attrition from last year. Ivicic comes to LU after spending the previous 10 seasons at Incarnate Word, including the last five as associate head coach.
Ivicic also served as UIW interim head coach for the final three games of the 2011 season before the hiring of current head coach Larry Kennan. After his hiring Kennan named Ivicic associate head coach working primarily with the defensive line.
Ivicic was named UIW defensive coordinator in 2007. During his first season with the Cardinals, UIW finished 13th nationally in tackles for loss and 33rd in sacks. Just three years later, Ivicic helped the Cardinals make the transition into the Lone Star Conference. In that first season, UIW allowed just 136 rushing yards per game, and led the LSC in opponent third down conversions and was second in the league in opponent first downs.
The following season, Ivicic produced one of the league’s more opportunistic defenses. The Cardinals led the conference with 16 interceptions while adding four forced fumbles. Safeties Chaz Pavliska and Devin Haywood were each second team all-league selections. Haywood finished that season ranked seventh in the nation with a school record seven interceptions.
Ivicic guided a defensive line that was a strong mix of veterans and rookies in 2013. Senior tackle Robby Horton earned College Sports Madness All-Independent second-team honors after leading the team with 10.0 tackles for losses, including four sacks. He finished his career with school records in both categories. The line was also crucial to the program’s first two shutouts and recorded nearly 30 TFLs on the season.
Ivicic also helped coach UIW through the transition into NCAA Division I status. In 2014, Ivicic worked with Corey Lee, who went on to set a school record in tackles for losses, and eventually earned second-team All-Southland Conference honors. Special teams were also a strength for the Cardinals that season. UIW finished second in the Southland in kickoff coverage and fourth in punt coverage. They were also fourth in the league in kick returns at 21.0 yards per return.
Ivicic began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Sam Houston State in 1991 helping the team win a Southland Conference title. In his second year with the program he tutored a pair of the Southland’s top defensive ends. Greenwood Horn finished the year with 14 sacks and John Solomon became a fifth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings.
He received his first full-time job at Blinn Junior College where he was the defensive line/assistant special teams coach for two years. The Bucs went 15-5-1 during his stay.
Ivicic returned to SHSU in 1995 as the defensive line, assistant special teams coordinator. The special teams unit was one of the best in the nation from 1995-98. The Bearkats finished in nation’s top 25 in net punting each year, including a fourth-place finish in 1995. They also blocked four punts and five each in 1996 and 1997. They were also strong in the return game finishing sixth nationally.
In 1999, Ivicic became the defensive line and special teams coordinator at Stephen F. Austin. His punt return unit led the nation with 19.1 yards per return and helped the Lumberjacks to a Southland Conference Championship – its first in 10 years.
He remained with SFA through the 2004 season and continued to produce top special teams play while adding the title of linebackers coach in 2001. The following seasons, the defense finished 13th nationally in pass defense and 10th in run defense. In 2003, they were sixth in pass efficiency defense while the special teams unit blocked six punts.
Ivicic moved on to Tarleton State in 2005 as the offensive line coach and special teams coordinator and was there for three years. He tutored Sam Skidmore, the LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year, before transitioning back to D-Line coach in 2006. The Texans finished 19th in run defense and ended the year with a share of the LSC South title. He also helped guide the Texans to a 9-2 record in his final season with the team.
Ivicic played defensive end for Sam Houston State in 1989 and 1990, after transferring from Blinn Junior College. He also played a year at Trinity Valley Community College.
A graduate of Taylor High School in central Texas, he earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from SHSU in 1991 and a master’s degree in kinesiology from SHSU in 1993.
Ivicic, and his wife, Deborah, have twins, Lily and Logan.