A Georgia Baptist Institution
Jay Stephenson named SSAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year
After starting the first cross country team in four years at Shorter College and placing second in the region, Jay Stephenson was awarded for his efforts by being named the Southern States Athletic Conference’s (SSAC) Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Stephenson came to Shorter in the middle of 2006 to begin recruiting for a restart of the college’s cross country program, which faded at the end of the 2001-02 school year. He coached at Berry for the two years before, and while there, was a part of five national qualifying teams, three men’s and two women’s.
“This year, with a completely new program, I had to teach the guys a lot of patience then what they were probably used to in high school,” said Stephenson. “We did some races that were six miles of hard running and I wanted the team to see that running isn’t all about racing.”
Sophomore cross country runner Therron Smith is one of the runners who helped the team to the 2nd place finish in the Region XIII meet. “Jay is not only our physical coach, but a spiritual one as well,” said Smith. “He’s always encouraging us to strengthen our faith and that’s what takes a good coach to a great coach. All of the runners had personal records in the last meet of the season, so it’s obvious he knows how to bring the absolute best out of an athlete.”
Stephenson will travel to Louisville, Ky., this weekend (Nov. 18) with runner Jerad Godsave to compete in the NAIA national championships. Godsave placed 3rd in the region meet to qualify for nationals.
| SHORTER UNIVERSITY • 315 Shorter Avenue • Rome, Georgia 30165 • Phone: 800-868-6980 • www.shorter.edu
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