Howard Payne University head football coach Braxton Harris announced Tuesday the addition of secondary coach Lionel Stokes to the football coaching staff.

Stokes comes to the Howard Payne football staff from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette where he served as the outside linebackers coach last season.

“We are excited about the experience coach Stokes brings to the position,” Harris said. “He is a great fit and the right person to teach the young men in the HPU football program.”

Before working fulltime at Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016, Stokes spent two seasons (2014-2015) as a graduate assistant on Louisiana-Lafayette’s defensive coaching staff.

Before going into coaching, Stokes played two seasons at Copiah Lincoln Community College then finished his career at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2010-12.

Stokes, a two-year starter at defensive back for the Ragin’ Cajuns, worked with the defensive backs and helped with the day-to-day operations of the defensive staff including film breakdown, weekly game planning and managing academics.

In 25 games as a player, Stokes recorded 135 tackles and five interceptions playing both corner and safety. Stokes was influential in the Cajuns’ first nine-win season since 1976, helping guide the program to the 2011 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl championship.

Stokes earned an associates degree in Mathematics from Copiah-Lincoln Community College in 2009 before finishing up a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Louisiana-Lafayette in 2012. He completed a master’s degree in sports management from Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016.