Stephens earns big coaching honor for year

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 17, 2014

Even after leading his East Mississippi team to its second juco national football championship in three seasons, the honors continue to roll in for East Mississippi head coach Buddy Stephens.

Stephens, a former player and assistant coach at Pearl River Community College, was named the 2013 Junior College National Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly magazine earlier this week.

It’s the second time in three seasons as well that the publication, a nationally renowned football coaches’ publication, has selected Stephens for the honor. American Football Monthly has annually selected college and high school coaches of the year since the publication’s inception.

Along with EMCC’s Stephens at the junior college level, other AFM Coach of the Year recipients among the collegiate ranks for 2013 include: Jimbo Fisher of Florida State (FBS); North Dakota State’s Craig Bohl (FCS); Adam Dorrel of Northwest Missouri State (Division II); Pete Fredenburg of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Division III); and Grand View University’s Mike Woodley (NAIA).

All of the 2013 AFM Coach of the Year collegiate recipients will be featured in the February issue of American Football Monthly magazine, which is slated to be available during the first week of February.

Having also claimed the NJCAA Region 23 as well as Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division Coach of the Year honors this past season, Stephens guided the 2013 EMCC Lions to the school’s second NJCAA National Championship in three years with a 52-32 win over top-ranked Georgia Military College a month ago at the Mississippi Bowl in Biloxi. EMCC also claimed a third NJCAA Region 23/MACJC State Championship in five years