LTU names new football coach

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published February 14, 2020

 Avante Mitchell has been named the new head coach of the Lawrence Tech University football team. He was the team’s defensive coordinator last season.

Avante Mitchell has been named the new head coach of the Lawrence Tech University football team. He was the team’s defensive coordinator last season.

Photo provided by Lawrence Tech University


SOUTHFIELD — As Lawrence Technological University continues to grow its football program, it will do so with a new coach.

Avante Mitchell is taking over for the departing Jeff Duvendeck and was formally announced in a press release Feb. 4. Mitchell was the defensive coordinator for the Blue Devils last season and was the interim head coach before being named to the position full time.

“LTU is confident that coach Mitchell has extensive experience at the (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) level to take the football program in the right direction,” Lawrence Tech President Virinder Moudgil said in a prepared statement.

Mitchell is a native of Detroit who played at his high school, St. Martin De Porres. He then played collegiately at the University of Louisville and Wayne State University.

Since his playing days came to an end, Mitchell has worked his way up the coaching ladder. He’s had previous coaching stops at Concordia University, Taylor University and Northwood University prior to his time at Lawrence Tech.

With the Blue Devils’ program still in its infancy, Mitchell will now be looking to build. The university announced the addition of football as a varsity sport in 2017, and the Blue Devils played a limited schedule in 2018.

They played their first full varsity schedule this past fall, finishing at 1-9 overall and 0-6 in the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League.

“It is a dream for me to be a college head coach, especially at such a prestigious university,” Mitchell said. “Secondarily, to be right here at home, my family, my wife and I, we have twins that are high school seniors, and for me not to have to pick up and uproot my family is something very special.”

The Blue Devils’ conference won’t be doing them any favors in jump-starting their program. The MSFA has been a powerhouse over the last decade, routinely competing on a national level.

Just this past season, the league had five teams ranked and another receiving votes in the final coaches poll. One of the teams –– Marian University in Indiana –– finished as national runner-up this past fall.

“We’re in the best conference in the United States of America within the NAIA,” Mitchell said. “There’s been six or seven national championships within the last decade or so from our conference alone. Out of the last 12 years, I think we’ve been in the game nine times, so it’s a juggernaut.”

Eventually, Mitchell is looking to have his program trending in the direction of competing and winning league championships. In a league filled with ranked teams, winning the division would also put them in a national discussion.

As they get set to enter year three of Blue Devils football, continuing to grow the program is going to play a key role in getting to where it wants to be.

This upcoming season, Mitchell is expecting to put a good product on the field that gives opponents a tough game each week.

“The first thing I would like to see out of our program is for us to compete at a high level every time we step on the field,” Mitchell said. “We want to fiercely compete on every Saturday we step on the field. We want every opponent to know that they’ve been in a battle.”