Franklin Stephens is McEachern's choice as head football coach – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Franklin Stephens is McEachern's choice as head football coach – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Franklin Stephens, who led Tucker to state championships in 2008 and 2011, is McEachern’s choice as football coach, McEachern athletics director Jimmy Dorsey confirmed Friday.

Franklin cannot be hired until released from his contract from Ware County Schools, which is expected to happen Thursday. He would meet McEachern’s team on Friday.

Stephens was head coach at Ware County the past five seasons and at Lamar County the previous two. He has won seven region titles at his three schools, at least two at each of them. His record is 133-26-1 over 13 seasons.

Stephens was the fastest head coach in Georgia history to 100 wins in 2014 when he reached the century mark in 109 games, one quicker than Hall of Fame coach Robert Davis of Warner Robins.

‘’Obviously we feel he’s a proven winner and a great fit for our school,’’ Dorsey said. ‘’The thing that really attracted us to him was his success at Tucker at a metro Atlanta system. He’s been in South Georgia, and he’s been in metro Atlanta, which is much different than being in a one-school county. It’s a whole different world, and while at Tucker he was extremely successful.’’

Tucker remains the only DeKalb County public school to win a state title in the higher classification in the past 20 years.

Stephens also got a high recommendation from Dorsey’s close friend, current T.L. Hanna (S.C.) head coach Jeff Herron, a former McEachern assistant who won state titles as head coach at three Georgia high schools. Stephens worked on Herron’s staff for five years at Camden County and was part of the 2003 state-championship team. 

Stephens was a two-time All-America offensive lineman at Georgia Southern. He got into coaching at assistant at alma mater Burke County and was on the staff of Burke’s 1998 state runner-up team.

At McEachern, a Cobb County school, Stephens would replace Kyle Hockman, who resigned after 11 seasons to take the head-coaching job at New Hampstead near Savannah. Hockman’s record at McEachern was 103-32 with five region titles in 11 seasons. McEachern had 58 players on college rosters last season, the most of any Georgia school.

Stephens would be McEachern’s third head coach since 1984. Dorsey led the Indians for 27 seasons and won 236 games and 12 region titles. McEachern has never won a state title. 

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