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MTSU O-line coach resigns over plans to hire another position coach

Jimmy Ray Stephens

Middle Tennessee has gone the past six seasons with Jimmy Ray Stephens as its offensive line coach. That won’t be the case when the Blue Raiders suit up for spring practice.

The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal reports that Stephens resigned from his position after being informed Tuesday night by head coach Rick Stockstill that Stephens would be sharing O-line duties with a yet-to-be-determined assistant coach. Stephens, who has coached at O-lines at Tennessee and Florida, said “pride” and his disagreement with the decision led to his resignation.

“His pay was not going to be cut, and it was explained over and over that it was not a demotion,” Stockstill said of his decision to bring in another coach. “I really thought having a second set of eyes on the offensive line would help us, and I explained that. Jimmy Ray balked at it because he didn’t want to give up the responsibility of coaching all five (linemen).”

Former MTSU offensive lineman Glen Elarbee has been rumored to be coming back to coach under Stockstill, possibly for center/guards while Stephens was moved to exclusively tackles. Whatever the plan, Stephens didn’t want any part of it.

The resignation leaves three open spots on the MTSU staff, the others being offensive coordinator/running backs coach and defensive line coach.

(Photo credit: MTSU athletics) 

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8 Responses to “MTSU O-line coach resigns over plans to hire another position coach”
  1. midtenncoach says: Feb 15, 2012 11:37 PM

    In the recent recruiting class, Middle TENNESSEE State did not sign anyone from the state of Tennessee. Granted, TN is not known for its wealth of football talent; still, there are players that sign at the D1 level from the state every year. Does Stockstill not believe any of them can play at Middle? Now, he runs off J. R. Stevens. Coach Stock has only had one really good year in his time at Middle, and people are getting impatient. He is not helping himself.

  2. imaduffer says: Feb 16, 2012 12:29 AM


    You out did yourself this time. LMAO

  3. Ben Kercheval says: Feb 16, 2012 8:15 AM


    It’s the offseason. That’s what happens.

  4. jaw749 says: Feb 16, 2012 8:22 AM

    Well, they can always have Robbie Caldwell, from Clemson, maybe he would be happier back in TN.

  5. LogicalConsideration says: Feb 16, 2012 9:33 AM

    Why would anyone be “losing patience” with a football coach at MTSU? Outside of the team itself, the circle of people who car must measure in the low hundreds…..or even dozens!

  6. leftcoastnative says: Feb 16, 2012 5:27 PM

    Bring back Boots now!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  7. irishjackmp says: Feb 16, 2012 7:36 PM

    If Stockstill had concerns about the performance of the offensive line and wanted to bring in another coach, that is certainly his right, but at least look the man in the eye and tell him the truth.

    If the AD had brought in a “co-head coach” for Stockstill and then proceed to tell him he wasn’t being demoted, Stockstill would, understandably, laugh at him.

  8. vincentbojackson says: Feb 17, 2012 10:54 PM

    Let me get this straight…

    Employer asks you to do less work for the same pay and your move is walk away in disgust?

    Interesting approach.

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