PCHS has new leader

Published 8:17 pm Monday, February 16, 2009

Eddie Stephenson is coming back to Pike County, but this time he is staying for good.

Stephenson, the Citronelle head football coach who guided the Wildcats to a 3-0 first-round upset of the Charles Henderson Trojans last year, was named the Pike County Bulldogs’ head football coach and athletic director Monday night at the Pike County Board of Education meeting.

Stephenson said the desire to win a state championship brought him to Pike County.

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“The commitment to winning is what drew us all to Pike County,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson brought his defensive coordinator at Citronelle, Zeb Ellison, to Pike County along with former Geneva offensive line coach William Moguel. Moguel will be Stephenson’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

During the interview process Pike County Schools superintendent Mark Bazzell put five state championship rings in front of Stephenson, but that did not faze Stephenson.

“I told him he needed a sixth one,” Stephenson said. “He told me ‘This is what the expectation is’ and I told him ‘Gladly.’ We want to win and we want to have goals that high.”

Bazzell said the head coach job at PCHS brought in 53 applications with 22 applicants who were previous head coaches and 12 who were current head coaches, but Stephenson stood out among those applicants.

“I am really excited about making this recommendation,” Bazzell said to the board. “I recommend this name with excitement.”

Pike County principal Mike Hall shares in that sentiment.

“We did a lot of proofing and looking through and we had a lot of high-profile names,” Hall said. “Coach Stephenson seems to have everything we are looking for. He respects the tradition here, but he is not in awe of it. One of the things I liked about him is that you know who is in charge when he is around.”

Stephenson’s first day on the job is Feb. 23.