Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Franklin Stephens hired at Ware County

Franklin Stephens,  who led Lamar County to the Class AA championship game in 2013, was announced as the head football coach of Ware County in Waycross on Friday.

Stephens had come to Lamar from Tucker, where he won state championships in 2008 and 2011 at a DeKalb County school that frequently contended but  reached the top only under Stephens.

Stephens’ record was 26-2-1 at Lamar County and 64-6 at Tucker. Stephens is 90-8-1 overall as a head coach. Before getting the Tucker job, Stephens had been an assistant at Burke County (1996-2001) and Camden County (2002-06). High school teams with Stephens on their staff are 197-37-2.

Stephens, a Burke County native, was persuaded to come to Lamar County by its principal, former Georgia Southern football teammate Derick Austin. Austin recently resigned to become an assistant principal at Putnam County.

Ware County was 11-2 in 2013 and 50-16 in five seasons under Ed Dudley, who left to take the head coaching job at Carrollton. Ware County has reached recent state finals in 2007 and 2012.

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