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Northern Arizona head football coach Jerome Souers will be extended until Dec. 31, 2018, pending approval from the Arizona Board of Regents on Wednesday.

With his current four-year contract, paying him a base salary of $185,000, due to expire Jan. 31, 2018, Souers was asked by Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng to return to bring stability to a program and athletic department in disarray following Lisa Campos' departure for the University of Texas at San Antonio.

After Campos, the former vice president for intercollegiate athletics, announced her move to Texas on Nov. 17, Cheng just three days later overturned Campos’ Sept. 11 decision to end Souers’ 20-year tenure, saying he and the football staff would be retained after all.

Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Andy Thompson also added the title of associate head coach after spending 13 years on the Lumberjacks coaching staff.

FOOTBALL

Northern Arizona senior wide receiver Elijah Marks was recognized as an Associated Press FCS All-America Second Team selection on Tuesday.

Marks, who becomes the 133rd Lumberjack to be honored with All-America status, posted a career-best 1,170 yards on 71 receptions.

The yardage total ranked eighth nationally and was the third-highest single-season performance in program history, behind only Emmanuel Butler's 1,208 yards in 2015 and Clarence Moore's 1,184 in 2003.

Marks also ranked fourth among FCS national leaders with 117.0 receiving yards per game and seventh in receptions per contest at 7.1.

The senior standout had a knack for the explosive play. He recorded a total of 16 catches of 25 yards or more and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score in Northern Arizona's win over Northern Colorado.

He posted at least 100 yards receiving in seven of the 10 games in which he saw action in 2017, including one 200-yard effort.

Marks, who was a 2017 All-Big Sky first team selection, ranked fifth nationally with 151.5 all-purpose yards per game and his career total of 3,761 sits sixth in Northern Arizona annals.

The Goodyear native also finished his Lumberjacks career ranked among the program's leaders in receiving yards (2,359), receptions (150) and receiving touchdowns (20).

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Redshirt senior Olivia Lucero was named the Ready Nutrition Big Sky Player of the Week on Tuesday after leading the Northern Arizona women's basketball team in scoring, rebounding and assists last week.

Lucero, who also picked up Big Sky Player of the Week honors from College Sports Madness, is the first Lumberjacks women's basketball player to earn the honors from the Big Sky conference office in nearly three years. The last player to do so was Erikka Banks on Jan. 5, 2015.

The guard out of Phoenix stuffed the stat sheet as she averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game over two contests, helping NAU to a 1-1 week. The one victory was a landmark, as she helped lead her team over Arizona last Thursday, 84-66, in Rolle Activity Center. It was NAU's first win over Arizona in 29 years and its first win over a Pac-10/Pac-12 opponent in 22 years.

In the victory, Lucero played all 40 minutes and scored a game-high 23 points while knocking down all four of her 3-point attempts and making 9 of 10 at the free-throw line. She also set season-highs with eight rebounds and four steals.

Lucero then recorded 11 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block in NAU's loss to Cal Poly on Saturday. For the week, she shot 50 percent from the field, 62.5 percent from 3-point range and 91.7 percent from the charity stripe.

Heading into Thursday's home game against Grand Canyon, Lucero ranks seventh in the league with 18.1 points per game, third with 4.9 assists per game and second with a .900 free throw percentage. She leads the Big Sky in minutes played at 37.4 per game.

Northern Arizona Sports Information contributed to this roundup.

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