Liz McCormick Published

Shepherd's Longtime Head Football Coach Announces Retirement

Monte Cater (left) is retiring as head football coach in spring 2018. Ernie McCook (right) has been named to replace him.

Monte Cater is retiring as Shepherd University’s head football coach after 31 seasons. Shepherd became an NCAA Division II school in the mid-90s, not long after Cater began his career at the school in 1987.

“It’s been very, very rewarding, and we’ve had some success,” Cater noted.

That success includes 245 wins, 93 losses, and one tie. Cater led the Shepherd Rams to 17 conference titles and 13 postseason appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 2015. His teams had six undefeated regular seasons.

Cater attributes that success to the quality of his staff and students, but also to continuity when recruiting players.

“You go into those high schools, they’re used to seeing that familiar face, and if they’ve sent you players before, they trust ya; that continuity has made a big difference, and you get a tradition going, and players come here because we’ve had a chance to be in the hunt most years,” he said.

Cater is the all-time winningest coach in West Virginia Conference and Mountain East Conference history.

Longtime assistant coach Ernie McCook has been named Cater’s replacement. Cater says McCook has been at Shepherd for 18 years and will do well as head football coach.