ASHLAND — Director of athletics Matt Sayre announced Tuesday that Southern Oregon University has launched a nationwide search for its 16th head football coach.

Sayre said a search committee has been formed and intends to make a hire before spring practice begins in April. Those interested in applying can do so by clicking here.

Nathan Chin was named the interim head coach after Craig Howard passed away on Jan. 20. Chin will continue to serve in that capacity until the position is filled.

"Coach Howard's vision and commitment to character will be a legacy for this program as long as it exists," Sayre said in a release. "Our aim now is to find the next person to lead the program in the model of that legacy, who can accentuate it with his own brand of leadership. We have a capable staff of assistant coaches and a talented, dedicated group of student-athletes eager to engage in this next chapter of our storied program."

Howard was hired in 2011 and led the Raiders to an NAIA championship, two title-game appearances, a Frontier Conference title and a total of 50 wins in six seasons. SOU went 5-6 in 2016, including a 5-5 record in the Frontier.