Feb. 25, 2011 04:38

twitter.com/ULCoachHud: your source for Ragin' Cajun sports.

If you're a Ragin' Cajun fan, you don't need TV stations or newspapers to follow the UL program. You've got Coach Hud.

New Cajun football coach Mark Hudspeth is rapidly becoming your source for up-to-the-second information on UL athletics - not just football - and he's doing it in a way that's pretty unconventional to the staid world of college football.

Hudspeth is an advocate of social media, specifically Tweeter, which already makes him different from most Division I football coaches. And his tweets are beginning to build a big audience.

Thursday night, during the Cajuns' thrilling 58-52 overtime basketball win over Denver, Coach Hud tweeted three different times:

"At UL Basketball Game!!! Big game, can make it 10 in a row with win tonight!!!! Geaux Cajuns!!!" - just before the game.

"Overtime in the Cajundome!!!" - when the game was tied 50-all and headed for extra play.

"Cajuns WIN!!!!! Way to go UL Hoops!!" - just after the final horn.

Hudspeth regularly posts messages about the program on twitter.com/ULCoachHud, and while there's naturally a lot of football talk, he's everywhere in the Cajun athletic program:

"UL Football facility renovation getting close to being completed!! All new coaching offices and meeting rooms and renovated locker rooms!" - last Wednesday morning.

"Liquid Sunshine in Lafayette Louisiana today!!! Staff and team at Mach 3 speed preparing for 1st practice on March 4th!!" - before 7 a.m. one week ago.

"I'll be throwing out the first pitch tomorrow at UL Baseball!!!! Hope to see all Ragin Cajun fans there!!!" - last Saturday afternoon, before his baseball appearance Sunday.

Hudspeth's so engrossed into Twitter that he was a spotlighted speaker on a national conference call Wednesday titled "Why My Coach Tweets: Best Practices of Using Twitter." The forum was sponsored by the College Sports Information Directors of America and featured an athletic director, an SID and a women's basketball coach in addition to Hudspeth.

Hudspeth said during the conference call that his tweeting isn't just random; it's a planned activity.

"It's part of my daily routine now," he said. "I use Twitter to challenge fans and students to not only do things around following our program, but to buy tickets and get involved. It's allowed us to have a big following in Houston, for example. They cannot get to our local paper or sit by their computers all the time, and this makes them feel connected. Alumni, fans and the local community are following us on Twitter now."

Fans who can't wait for football to get here again, and those who just want to keep tabs on the new coach, can join Coach Hud's Twitter team now - and get six months worth of buildup for next fall's football season.

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