MISSOULA, Montana — Frank Scelfo knows quarterbacks.
And the quarterbacks the Southeastern Louisiana head coach and his Lions bring to Missoula have impressed him so far this season during the third playoff appearance in SLU history.
After spending 15 years as a high school coach, Scelfo joined his younger brother Chris’s staff at Tulane in 1996. Between that first season and 2006, Scelfo helped mentor NFL Top 50 draft picks like Shaun King, Patrick Ramsey and J.P. Losman. During his two seasons at Arizona, Scelfo helped coach Nick Foles years before Foles went on to win a Super Bowl MVP with the Philadelphia Eagles.
During a three-year stint in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Scelfo coached former first-round draft pick Blake Bortles.
That consistent string of quarterbacks also helped Scelfo, more about Southeastern Louisiana. During those years in Tulane, the Scelfo brothers helped orchestrate the Manning Passing Academy with former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning and, sometimes, his All-Pro quarterback sons Peyton and Eli Manning. The camps were held at Southeastern Louisiana’s stadium.
And the influx of talent at quarterback at SLU has been key to the Lions’ return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and the third time ever.
Chason Virgil threw for 445 yards and three touchdowns last week to help SLU rally from a 17-point deficit for a 45-44 win over No. 8 Villanova. The former Fresno State transfer — he threw for nearly 2,900 yards and started 14 games for the Bulldogs — earned All-Southland Conference honors by throwing for 3,355 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.
He’s also helped lead the Lions to eight wins and a berth in the Round of 16 in the FCS Playoffs. SLU plays at No. 6 Montana on Saturday afternoon.
Photos by Brooks Nuanez or noted. All Right Reserved.