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Sayre returns to head SOU's offense

ASHLAND ' Southern Oregon University's vacant position of football offensive coordinator has been filled by a familiar face, but two longtime Raider staffers have resigned.

Interim football coach Shay McClure Thursday announced Matt Sayre is back on the coaching staff after a one-year hiatus.

Meanwhile, another SOU staffer, co-head athletic trainer Mike Stevenson, resigned to take a similar position at North Medford High, said Southern Oregon Director of Athletics Dr. Dennis Francois.

Stevenson follows Tom Powell, a longtime SOU assistant coach, who has become offensive coordinator at North.

Sayre, 35, who served as head coach at College of the Siskiyous in 2004 after a nine-year stint at SOU, resumes his familiar role as offensive coordinator ' the position he occupied at the Ashland school for six seasons.

— He will also reprise his teaching duties in the Health and Physical Education Department.

It was a tough decision because I enjoyed the College of the Siskiyous, Sayre said, but ultimately, this was the right decision for me and for my family. I'm very happy to be back and am looking forward to helping this program overcome its challenges.

During his previous tenure as offensive coordinator, SOU averaged 382 yards and 33 points while compiling a 38-21 record between 1998 and 2003.

Sayre's 2001 offensive group amassed the school's third most prolific offensive season with a 415-yard clip (the NAIA's sixth-highest output) that resulted in an all-time record for scoring (43.1).

In 2003, Southern Oregon finished ninth nationally for scoring offense (33.4) and 10th for total offense (414.3).

We're excited to have Matt back, McClure said. The year away (from our program) was good for Matt professionally. We couldn't ask for an easier transition based on his familiarity with the program and our personnel.

Sayre guided COS to a 5-5 mark last fall ' a three-win improvement over the previous year ' and the Eagles came a victory away from earning a postseason bowl berth.

Stevenson was on the Raider sports medicine staff for 17 years and replaced Phil Pifer as head trainer in 2000. An associate professor in the health and P.E., he served as president of the NAIA Trainer's Association in 2000-01.

Francois indicated a search for new athletics staffers will begin as soon as possible.