Defuniak Springs, FL--After leaving Panhandle high school football some 20 years ago, it appears as if Jimmy Ray Stephens is coming back to our area.
Coach Stephens is being recommended by Walton principal Russell Hughes as the next head football coach of the Braves.
Those around the region in the early 90's should certainly remember coach Stephens. He led Fort Walton Beach for three seasons, 90 to 92.
In 91 he and Danny Wuerffel led the Vikings to a perfect ten and oh regular season, the Vikings went on to win 4 straight playoff games, and clobbering Aquinas in the 4A championship game.
He left Fort Walton Beach after the 92 season to take an assistants job at his alma mater, the Florida, where he coached from 93 to oh-1. He then coached at Tennessee and Middle Tennessee, in fact he's coming south from that latter school where he was the offensive line coach.
The principal's recommendation goes before the Okaloosa County School board for approval in early March.
Mr. Hughes telling Newschannel 7 Sports Wednesday he wanted somebody with experience, and a winning history, Stephens he says, brings that to the table. Hughes also says Stephens is good at moving kids from high school to college.
Walton's job came open after Bobby Bennett was replaced after just one season as head coach, the Braves oh and ten last year.