BREAKING: Coach Houston signs extension with L-R

Lenoir-Rhyne University has extended its relationship with head football coach Mike Houston. The two parties have agreed on a contract extension through the 2016 season.

"This guaranteed contract gives coach Houston and Lenoir-Rhyne a sense of stability," said Neill McGeachy, Lenoir-Rhyne's director of intercollegiate athletics. "With this action today, L-R has put itself in position for continued success."

"I want to thank Lenoir-Rhyne President Dr. Wayne Powell and Athletic Director Neill McGeachy for their continued support of myself and our football program," Houston said. "I look forward to working together with them and our staff for continued success on and off the field."

Houston is coming off of his second season with Lenoir-Rhyne in 2012. He has a 16-6 combined record as Bears coach in two season.

Houston has guided Lenoir-Rhyne to back-to-back South Atlantic Conference Championships and was twice named league coach of the year for his efforts.

In addition, Houston led L-R to its first playoff berth in 50 years this past fall, and the team's first postseason victory since 1962 with its 21-6 triumph over Fort Valley State in the first round of the NCAA Div. II playoffs in November.

This year, the Bears finished with a 9-3 overall record, including a 6-1 mark in South Atlantic Conference play and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling to Carson-Newman.

Houston, a 1994 graduate of Mars Hill College, was Lenoir-Rhyne's defensive coordinator for four seasons (2007-10) under former coach Fred Goldsmith before being elevated to head coach in the spring of 2011.

Houston was also L-R's assistant head football coach in 2010.

Lenoir-Rhyne opens the 2013 season on Thursday, Sept. 5, against Concord at home. Kickoff at Moretz Stadium is set for 7 p.m.