Bulldogs and Horned Frogs will meet for first time
Photos from the fourth practice of fall camp.
Louisiana Tech landed one of the top assistant coaches in the South when long-time special teams coach Mark Tommerdahl joined the Bulldog staff in 2009. He enters the 2012 season having coached two All-Americans in the past three seasons.
Coaching the inside receivers and serving as the special teams coordinator, Tommerdahl came to LA Tech with more than two decades of Division I coaching experience serving as an assistant coach on some of the top programs in the country. He has served as an assistant coach on 13 bowl teams as well as six league champions and two division champions.
Tommerdahl's special teams acumen was highlighted in 2011 when punter Ryan Allen won the Ray Guy Award. Allen became the first player from a non-BCS school to win the award for the nation's top punter and was the only player from a non-BCS school to win a national award in 2011. Allen consistently flipped the field for Tech's defense and led the nation with 39 punts inside the 20 with only five touchbacks the entire year.
His experience and game-planning on special teams helped Phillip Livas tie an NCAA record in 2010 with the return specialist's eighth career return for a touchdown. Livas ended his career with four punt returns and four kickoff returns for a score.
Tommerdahl's coaching helped Dennis Morris garner all-America honors as well as being named the Tight End of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards. Morris finished his senior year at LA Tech with 38 catches for 623 yards and he had a national-leading 12 receiving touchdowns among tight ends in 2009.
Prior to spending the 2008 season at UL-Monroe, Tommerdahl served as the tight end and special teams coach at Texas A&M for five years. During his tenure with the Aggies, Tommerdahl helped lead the program to the Cotton Bowl (2004), the Holiday Bowl (2006) and the Alamo Bowl (2007).
He coached present-day Dallas Cowboys tight end Marcellus Bennett, who ended his Texas A&M career as the program's all-time positional leader in receptions and yards.
Tommerdahl's special teams units in College Station were also among the nation's best, ranking in the Top 20 in the nation in net punting 2006 (14th) and in 2007 (5th) and in kick-off returns in 2003 (10th), 2006 (2nd), and 2007 (20th).
The Alabama Crimson Tide were fortunate enough to land Tommerdahl's services during the 2001 and 2002 seasons as he served as the program's tight ends and special teams coach. He helped the Crimson Tide to the 2001 Independence Bowl and the 2002 SEC West Division title.
Tommerdahl also served as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator during stints at TCU (1998-2000), New Mexico (1997) and Minnesota (1995-96) where he coached a Lou Groza finalist at all three schools.
TCU's kickoff return units were ranked No. 1 in the nation in back-to-back seasons while his special teams units ranked No. 1 in the league in three of four statistical categories.
In 1997 at New Mexico, four of the Lobos special teams units were ranked in the top 20 in the country as the team won the WAC Mountain Division title.
The Fergus Falls, Minnesota native began his collegiate coaching career in 1984 as a graduate assistant at Wyoming where he spent the next 11 seasons serving in numerous capacities including the tight ends coach, offensive coordinator and backfield coach. He helped lead the Cowboys to four bowl appearances and three WAC titles.
Tommerdahl earned his bachelor's degree in business and physical education from Concordia College in 1983 and his master's degree in business administration from Wyoming in 1986. He is married to the former Annette Jondahl.