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McFarland's hiring was announced in January 2015 as the veteran joins the LA Tech family after spending the last three seasons at Copiah-Lincoln (Co-Lin) Junior College.
"I am very excited to add Robert to our staff and the LA Tech Family," Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience as a head coach, coordinator and offensive line coach in over 25 years of coaching and in 2015 that experience will be invaluable in continuing to build our program. I have known him for a long time and I know he will be a great asset to our program."
During his time at Co-Lin, McFarland served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for a prolific offense that reached the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) championship game behind a 62 percent passing rate with over 3,000 yards passing with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions by a sophomore quarterback.
In 2012, Co-Lin quarterback Chandler Rogers passed for 3,164 yards and 30 touchdowns in 12 games. In 2013, freshman quarterback Daniel Fitzwater posted 2,684 yards passing with 19 touchdowns in nine games.
McFarland has a long list of achievements and former players who competed in the National Football League. He served as offensive line coach for the United Football League's (UFL) Sacramento Mountain Lions (2011) under head coach Dennis Green and the Florida Tuskers (2010) as the run game coordinator/tight end coach under head coach Jay Gruden. The Tuskers led the UFL in rushing and produced the league's leading rusher.
"Having known Skip for over 25 years, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him again," said McFarland, who first coached with the Holtz family at Notre Dame. "I grew up in Louisiana and the reputation of Louisiana Tech as a university and as a football program. It is an exciting time to be in Ruston following a successful bowl season and playing in the Conference USA Championship Game. The future is bright for this program and I look forward to work with Skip, the great coaching staff he has assembled and the team he is building."
He spent 2007-2008 as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach for Iowa State University under then head coach Gene Chizik. He successfully rebuilt the Cyclone offensive line from scratch in 2007 and coordinated an offense that set several school and career records. In 2008, the Cyclone offense set a school record in passing yards per game, second all-time total passing yards, fifth all-time in total offense per game, sixth in total yards, and seventh in scoring. They set season single game school records in three categories. Most impressively, Iowa State cut its sacks allowed from 38 in 2006 to 17 and 2007, despite having only one returning starter on the offensive line.
Serving as head coach at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2005-2006, the Lumberjacks won twice as many conference games in 2006 than previous two years to finish tied for second place in the league. In his two years as the Lumberjacks' head coach, McFarland coached two All-Americans and 26 All-Southland Conference players. In 2005, SFA had the No. 1 passing offense in the Southland Conference and in 2006, the Lumberjacks led the conference in total offense, total defense and scoring defense.
McFarland spent the 2004 season at East Carolina as the offensive line coach. Prior to that he spent four seasons as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida. During his stay at UCF, McFarland's offensive unit was ranked 11th in the nation in total offense and sixth in the nation in pass offense that season averaging more than 436 yards of offense and 32 points per game in 2002.
His offensive units produced two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in 2002, only the eighth time in NCAA history a team has accomplished that feat.
The Knights finished ninth in the nation among I-A teams in passing offense in 2001 and was 12th in the nation in passing offense in 2000. During his stay in Orlando, McFarland coached six student-athletes who went on to the NFL.
McFarland was the offensive line coach at Stephen F. Austin from 1991 through the 1999 season. During his earlier stint with the Lumberjacks, SFA claimed two NCAA playoff appearances and the 1999 Southland title. The 'Jacks advanced to the semifinals of the I-AA playoffs in 1995. SFA led the league in rushing offense four times with McFarland's offensive line leading the way. SFA also set single-season records for rushing yards (2,193 yards - 1993) and rushing touchdowns (30 - 1999) while McFarland was a Lumberjack assistant. Four of his former offensive linemen also went on to NFL camps.
He has made coaching stops at Kent State under Pete Cordelli, Notre Dame under Lou Holtz and Clemson University under Danny Ford. He has coached teams that have made appearances in the Citrus Bowl, Gator Bowl and Orange Bowl.
His coaching career began as a graduate assistant at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
McFarland and his wife, Pam, are the parents of two children, Ashley and Koy.
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