|EMCC head football coach Buddy Stephens selected as 2011 ACCFCA Coach of the Year|
As selected by voting members of the ACCFCA, Stephens will be presented the award at the American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year Dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the 2012 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.WACO, Texas – Culminating a history-making season for the Lions of East Mississippi Community College, EMCC head football coach Buddy Stephens has been named the 2011 American Community College Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
Stephens, a native of Huntsville, Ala., recently completed his fourth season as EMCC’s head football coach by guiding the 2011 Lions to the school’s first-ever National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship. The Lions’ perfect 12-0 campaign was capped off by their 55-47 El Toro Bowl victory over previously top-ranked Arizona Western College in the NJCAA Football Championship Game played Dec. 3 in Yuma, Ariz. This past year, Stephens also guided EMCC to the program’s second NJCAA Region 23/Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Championship in the past three seasons.
“I’m very humbled about the great news of receiving this tremendous honor coming from coaching peers,” Stephens said. “This is certainly a coaching staff of the year award in our particular situation here at East Mississippi Community College. This honor is a true measure of just how good our players and assistant coaches really were this football season. We had great chemistry all around from the players to the coaching staff as well as administratively and throughout our entire support staff. ”
In running the table on the gridiron this season with the nation’s top-rated offensive unit, the EMCC Lions knocked off eight teams that were ranked among the NJCAA Top 20 at some point during the course of the season, including four foes ranked in the Top 5 nationally at the time of their head-to-head meetings with the Lions. The program’s first-ever, 12-win season also included a third perfect 6-0 mark in MACJC North Division play since 2008 as well as a fourth consecutive appearance in the MACJC State Playoffs.
Honored this season as the NJCAA Region 23 Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons, Stephens was also tabbed as the 2011 MACJC North Division Coach of the Year by his coaching peers. Since being hired as head football coach at East Mississippi Community College in December 2007, Stephens has compiled an impressive 36-8 (.818) overall record and 22-2 (.917) division mark in his four seasons at the Lions’ helm. Along with this year’s school-first national championship, Stephens’ Lion squads have also captured EMCC’s first-ever state football championships (2011 & 2009) as well as earning three division crowns (2011, 2009 & 2008).
“With the support of our administration in (EMCC President) Dr. Rick Young and (EMCC Vice President/Director of Athletics) Mickey Stokes, everything has come to fruition from what we set out to do four years ago,” Stephens added. “Hopefully this season validates everything we’ve been attempting to accomplish here at EMCC.”
A proven winner in the Mississippi junior college ranks for the past decade, Stephens arrived on the Scooba campus four years ago after spending the previous seven seasons as an assistant coach at perennial MACJC powerhouse Pearl River Community College. During Stephens’ stint as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach under PRCC head coach Tim Hatten and previous head man Scott Maxfield, the Wildcats posted a seven-year composite record of 60-12 (.833), including an NJCAA National Championship in 2004 and four consecutive MACJC state titles (2003-06) which resulted in four straight NJCAA Top 5 national finishes.
A former standout offensive lineman at Pearl River CC and subsequently at Delta State University, Stephens becomes the first ACCFCA Coach of the Year recipient from a Mississippi-based school since his former mentor, Tim Hatten, earned the honor after guiding the Pearl River Wildcats to the 2004 NJCAA national title. Recent winners of the prestigious national coaching award have included: Bob Jastrab (Mt. San Antonio College [CA], 2010); Brad Franchione (Blinn College [TX], 2009); Jeff Jordan (Butte College [CA], 2008); Jeff Chudy (Bakersfield College [CA], 2007); John Featherstone (El Camino College [CA], 2006); and Don Dillon (American River College [CA], 2005).
The American Community College Football Coaches Association (ACCFCA) is an umbrella coaches association formed in 2002 between the National Junior College Football Coaches Association and the California Community College Football Coaches Association. Prior to that, both organizations selected their own coach of the year recipients.
In 2000, the American Football Coaches Association invited the organizations to meet at the AFCA Convention. Three national goals were set: 1) to form a national community college football coaches’ association; 2) to study the possibility of a national championship game between the two organizations; and 3) to elect, yearly, a national coach of the year and to have that coach recognized by the AFCA. Their initial goal has been accomplished, and, in 2002, the American Community College Football Coaches Association selected its first national coach of the year with Michael White of Reedley College [CA] earning the honor. The following year, Butler Community College’s [KS] Troy Morrell was the recipient of the 2003 ACCFCA Coach of the Year award.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 December 2011 )|
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