GREENVILLE, S.C.—The 2013 defending Southern Conference champion Furman Paladins will commence preparations for the 2014 football season in defense of that league title, when head coach Bruce Fowler’s team takes the field for the first time in shells on March 18.
The Paladins claimed the program’s 13th Southern Conference title in 2013, which is a Southern Conference standard, and by garnering the league’s automatic bid to the FCS postseason, the Paladins returned to the postseason for the first time since 2006, and the league title represented the Paladins’ first league crown since 2004.
The Paladins finished the 2013 season with an 8-6 overall record and a 6-2 record in the Southern Conference, forging a three-way tie with Chattanooga and Samford in the Southern Conference standings. The Paladins were awarded the automatic bid to the FCS postseason by virtue of wins over at Georgia Southern (16-14) and The Citadel (24-17), as the Eagles and Bulldogs knocked off both Chattanooga and Samford during the regular-season, respectively. Furman’s lone Southern Conference losses came on the road at Chattanooga (31-13) and at home to Elon (28-25).
Despite losing to Chattanooga, the Paladins won the tiebreaker as a result of three teams finishing with identical 6-2 league marks, the tiebreaker did not go head-to-head, allowing the Paladins to wins the tiebreaker. The Paladins had two wins over ranked opponents in 2013, with one of those coming in Southern Conference play, with a 34-17 win over No.20 Samford on Homecoming Saturday at Paladin Stadium.
The Paladins welcome back 17 starters for the 2014 season, including starting quarterback Reese Hannon, leading rusher Hank McCloud and leading pass-catcher Andrej Suttles. The defense welcomes the return of All-SoCon honorees DE/LB Gary Wilkins and NIC Jairus Hollman.