Mark Speir new Western Carolina football coach

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CULLOWHEE, N.C. (AP) — Western Carolina has hired veteran Appalachian State assistant Mark Speir (SPEER) as its head football coach.

Western Carolina announced Thursday that Speir is taking over for Dennis Wagner, who resigned last month after going 8-36 in nearly four seasons.

Athletic director Randy Eaton calls Speir "a fit" in the athletic department, the campus and the community.

This marks Speir's first head coaching position at any level. He coached four different positions for the rival Mountaineers since 2003 and had been their recruiting coordinator since 2004. He coached inside linebackers this season.

The Kannapolis native was on Western Carolina's staff from 1991-94, coaching running backs and outside linebackers. He also coached at Presbyterian and Elon before moving to Appalachian State.

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