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Louisiana-Monroe will reportedly hire McNeese State's Matt Viator, 5-time FCS playoff coach

The Warhawks get a coach with Louisiana roots.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

After firing Todd Berry exactly a month ago, Louisiana-Monroe has hired McNeese State's Matt Viator to be its new head coach. The news was first reported by Gene Ponti of KTVE.

Viator, 52, has been the head coach at McNeese State since 2006, and he was an assistant with the Cowboys between 1999 and 2005. Before that, he was a high school coach in Louisiana. McNeese State lost in the second round of the FCS Playoffs this year, but the Cowboys went undefeated in the Southland Conference and reached as high as No. 2 in the FCS Coaches Poll after an undefeated regular season. Viator made the playoffs five times in his 10 seasons as head coach.

The Cowboys have had success against bigger opponents under Viator, too. McNeese State nearly knocked off Nebraska last season, and the Cowboys beat South Florida in 2013 and Middle Tennessee in 2012.

Viator will be tasked with turning around a ULM program that could never get over the hump. Berry led the Warhawks to some nice power conference wins (Arkansas, and Wake Forest twice), but he made only one bowl game in six seasons and finished .500 or better only twice. In his last two seasons, he went 4-8 and 1-9.

Unlike Berry, Viator has spent his entire career in Louisiana, and he knows the state from a recruiting standpoint. Now, he will be tasked with turning around one of the state's two Sun Belt teams.