Dec 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Former Florida Gators head coach Steve Spurrier speaks to the press prior to the SEC Championship college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida Gators at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Former UF coach Jimmy Ray Stephens reunited with Spurrier in Orlando

Many familiar faces from the University of Florida have found themselves on the Orlando Apollos’ roster. The inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football League kicks off in February, and Steve Spurrier will return to coaching for the first time since he left South Carolina. With him, Spurrier has brought many familiar faces to the coaching staff including former UF coach Jimmy Ray Stephens.

Stephens becomes offensive line coach for Apollos

Jimmy Ray Stephens will be coaching the offensive line for the Orlando Apollos next spring when the first season officially gets underway. Stephens coached Florida’s offensive lineman for nine years during Steve Spurrier’s tenure.

Since coaching the Gators, Stephens was a member of the Tennessee Volunteers’ coaching staff starting in 2002 until 2006. Stephens would go on to coach Middle Tennessee for six seasons before heading off to coach high school football again in 2012. He’s led a Walton High School team that was coming off an 0-10 season the year before he arrived to an undefeated regular season in 2015.

Stephens excited for the opportunity to coach pro football

Stephens hasn’t had the chance to coach in the NFL yet, so coaching in a new professional league that grooms professional players to continue their respective careers is an opportunity Stephens marvels.

“I’m gonna get a chance to coach a little pro ball here before I hang it up,” Stephens said in an interview.

Twenty-five years after that original call, Spurrier is offering Stephens and other members of those UF coaching staffs a crack at coaching professionally.

“It’s gonna be fun getting back together with some of those guys,” Stephens said. “It’ll be interesting.”

“I’m looking forward to the challenges and turning that page and start a new chapter.”

The Orlando Apollos will play their home games at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Their first game will take place on Feb. 9 against the Atlanta Legends.

About Evan Lepak

- 23 - Sports Journalism - UF '20 - Gators, Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Magic - avid lover of pizza

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