ADA, Okla. (KTEN) - Despite a tough opening night 41-13 loss to Henderson State, the vibes are high in Ada with the East Central University football program.

The Tigers will have a lot of new faces this year and a new interim head coach in John Litrenta after Kris McCullough left to take the head coaching job at University of Texas-Permian Basin. However, the Tigers are coming off one of their best seasons in modern school history, winning nine games with a bowl victory.

Litrenta is hoping the foundation and culture that has been set within the program will carry over regardless of the turnover.

"When we're all pulling on the same rope, it's really, really fun," said Litrenta.

"The guys see that there is progress, there is a chance and we can do this," said senior linebacker Devon Roush. "It's been done, it can be done again."

The Tigers host Southern Arkansas in their home opener Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Koi Ishto Stadium.