To culminate a 1-10 season, Southern Utah University football has announced that they will part ways with Head Coach Demario Warren. Warren ended his career at SUU with a final record of 21-42.
Warren spent 13 years with SUU football, beginning as the defensive backs coach in 2008. After a two-year stint as the defensive coordinator from 2014-15, Warren was promoted to head coach before the 2016 season.
In 2017, his second year as head coach, Warren enjoyed his most successful season with the Thunderbirds. He led the team to a 9-3 overall record, and went 7-1 in the Big Sky Conference en route to a conference championship. He was named 2017’s Big Sky Coach of the Year for his accomplishments.
Since the 2017 season, Thunderbird football has seen little success. The team has not won more than three games in a season since 2019 and has seen seven consecutive home losses.
The past calendar year has been especially rough for the program. After COVID-19 cancelled football in fall of 2020, the Big Sky Conference held a six-game spring season in 2021. SUU went 1-5 overall, but all five of their losses were by eight or less points. The close spring games gave hope for the fall of 2021, but the Thunderbirds never found consistency.
The team finished the year 0-8 in the Big Sky, finishing last in the conference standings. Their record featured seven losses by 18 or more points including a 50-21 loss at the homecoming game to Eastern Washington University. Warren’s final game as head coach for SUU football was a 62-0 blowout loss against in-state rival Weber State University.
For coach Warren, he is sure to find work again in football. Along with his head coaching performance in 2017, Warren’s work as defensive coordinator played a large role in the team’s 2015 conference championship. Perhaps a move back to a coordinator position will benefit him moving forward as he finds a new home.
For SUU football, finding the right coach may have never been more important. Not only will this team be searching for a new leader, but a new identity as they move to the Western Athletic Conference in July 2022 to begin a new era for the team.
Story By: Christian Esparza
Photo Courtesy Of SUU Athletics