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Looking Back: A peek into the Golden Eagle photo archives

Note: Each week, the TTU Sports Information Staff will dig into the school's rich Photo Archives and publish a photo from the past. Some of the photos will include identification, but sometimes Tech will ask for viewers' help in identifying the people shown in the photo. To submit missing identification or comments about the photos in this series, send an email to: sportsinfo@tntech.edu.

Featured this week: Jim Ragland (wearing cap) served 10 seasons as head coach of the Golden Eagle football team from 1986 to 1995, directing a program that he once led as its quarterback. Now a member of the TTU Sports Hall of Fame, Ragland worked with a staff that included Mike Smith (wearing headset) as an assistant coach. With Smith and defensive coordinator Mike Hennigan guiding the defense, Tech ranked as one of the top defensive teams in the nation. Mike Smith left Tech to take an assistant coaching position in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, and today is the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Ragland took over a program that was hard-pressed for victories, and he made a bold move in 1989 by redshirting seven of his top seniors. It paid off the following year as the Golden Eagles went from a 1-10 mark to a 5-5 record to be ranked as one of the most improved I-AA teams in the nation. Three years later, Tech was 7-4 and ranked in the Top 25 at the close of the season. The following year, Ragland's squad got off to a strong start with a 5-2 record and was listed as high as eighth in the polls before finishing with an 8-3 record. Ragland's Golden Eagle teams posted a 36-36 overall record during his final seven seasons at the helm.