With coaching changes going on throughout the ranks of college football, the Lions have made their own impact on the NCAA football coaching shamble by releasing former head coach Mike Lucas after five seasons.

After leading Southeastern to a 31-14 win over rival Nicholls State in the River Bell Classic on Nov. 17, university officials released Lucas on Monday, Nov. 21.

Athletic Director Bart Bellairs released this statement after the firing:

“The decision to change coaches is not easy and has nothing to with his character, but we felt like we needed to make a change in the direction of the program.”

Lucas posted a 19-40 record overall record in his five years as head coach and was 3-8 this past season. The decision came roughly one year after Lucas signed a three-year extension with the Lions in April of 2010, which was expected to last through the 2012 season. Lucas is  released two years after being named Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sports writers association in 2009 after posting a 6-5 record.

Prior to the 2011 season, Lucas met with University President John L. Crain and Bellairs about plans for the Lions future. In the meeting Lucas was asked to make an evaluation of the program and make necessary changes to improve the team’s performance on and off the field.

“He [Lucas] told us some things that he thought would help, and the bottom line is we didn’t have the wins we thought we would have,” said Bellairs in an issue of the Hammond Daily Star.

When contacted by The Lion’s Roar, Crain stated he is not at liberty to publicly address personnel issues, including employment actions affecting coaches.

While the reasons for Lucas’ termination have not been released, the Lions posted argueably their most disappointing season in 2010 going 2-9, with returning starters and senior All-American candidates in safety Re’Keem Wilson, linebacker Mark Newbill, defensive back Tommy Connors and wide receiver Simmie Yarbrough.

The Lions’ search for a replacement has begun and though no names have surfaced, university official know the type of guy they are looking for to lead this program.

“A proven track record of winning. We are probably going to look for somebody who has head coaching experience,” said Bellairs.

Lucas was not available for comment.