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Franklin Stephens is Lamar’s new coach

As reported here 10 days ago, Franklin Stephens has been named head football coach at LCCHS. *************** ©The Herald Gazette/ This information may not be reprinted, broadcast or distributed electronically in any form or fashion without express consent. For reprint permission, e-mail *************** The board of education voted unanimously to hire Stephens following a brief executive session Wednesday night. The new coach and his family were introduced to the board and the media. Stephens coached the last five years at Tucker High where he went 64-4 and won two state Class AAAA titles. His teams went to the semi-finals two other seasons and to the Sweet 16 round in another. ”My wife, family and I thank (the school board) for this opportunity. I’m glad to be here where football is the only show in town on Friday night. This is a growing community and we are looking forward to being part of that growth,” he said Dr. Stephens earned his BS degree in justice studies at Georgia Southern University where he played football with LCCHS principal Derick Austin. That team won the Southern Conference title in 1993. Stephens was team captain at GSU in 1993. He was an AP and Sporting News All-American in 1993 and 1994, made the Kodak All-American team in 1993 and the American Football Coaches Association All-American team in 1994. He won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 1994 and was all-conference in 1993 and 1994. He went on to receive a masters degree in education at Troy State University and his doctorate in education from Argosy University. After a brief stint with the St. Louis Rams of the NFL, Stephens was an assistant football coach at Burke County for five years. He then spent five years at powerhouse Camden County – first as an assistant then three years as defensive coordinator. During his time there, Camden won a state title, five consecutive region titles, went to the semifinals twice, the quarterfinals once and the Sweet 16 once. He was named head coach at Tucker High in 2006. His first team went 13-1 and made it to the semifinals. His second went 14-1 and won the first state title in school history. In 2009, Tucker posted a 9-3 mark and made it to the Sweet 16. In 2010, Stephens’ squad went 13-1 made the semifinals. Last season, his team posted a perfect 15-0 mark and won another state title. In his time at Tucker, Stephens saw 52 of his players get college scholarships to further their football careers. Stephens’ wife, Renee, also has her doctorate. They have two children: Trinity is a second grader and Donavan is in the fifth grade. Stephens said his offense has generally been a split wing T, incorporating some spread. “We will match our offense to the personnel here,” he added. His defense has long sported a 3-3 look. The new coach noted the excellent facilities at Lamar as an incentive. His Tucker teams had to use municipal stadiums. He also said he liked the atmosphere in Barnesville. He will assemble his staff from coaches around the state – not necessarily from the Tucker or Lamar staffs, he added. In announcing his selection Austin said, “We’ve got world class kids and world class facilities. When we go out to hire somebody, we get world class people.” School superintendent Dr. Bill Truby said the system received “score and scores” of applications and calls about the coaching job. Six finalists were invited to interview and five were interviewed before Stephens was selected. ”(Stephens’) credentials are stellar. He has succeeded and beyond at every level and at every assignment he has had. We have with us tonight a man with the ability to lead our young men in the development of their bodies, minds and spirits. I think he will set the example our youngsters need in the classroom, in the community and on the field of competition,” Truby concluded.

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