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Southwest turns to Jarrett Stephens as athletic director, men’s basketball coach

Jarrett M. Stephens – a Cleveland, Ohio native with Memphis ties and a decade-plus of experience coaching intercollegiate basketball, is set to become the new athletic director and men’s basketball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Stephens, the assistant men’s basketball coach at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, assumes his new roles on August 16.

“I’m honored to take over a program that not only has a tradition of success built on the shoulders of legendary Coach Verties Sails Jr., but also has had recent success,” Stephens said. “Our student athletes will represent Southwest Tennessee Community College with integrity, and when people think of our program and department, they will think of excellence.”

Southwest President Tracy D. Hall is looking to Stephens to “advance our program athletically and academically. …

“He has an excellent track record for helping student athletes move on to the next level on the court and in the classroom. His strong ties to Memphis will help him be a powerful advocate who can generate increased community awareness, engagement, goodwill and investment in our students and athletic program.” 

Stephens served as assistant men’s basketball coach for Indian River State College (2012-14) and Clark Atlanta University (2008-09). He also served as the associate head men’s basketball coach at his alma mater, LeMoyne-Owen College (2009-10), where he also head coach of men’s and women’s cross-country and director of Intramural Sports. 

Stephens, who received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and government at LeMoyne-Owen College (2000) and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from FAMU (2021), began his career coaching youth as a varsity basketball coach for Treadwell High School (2001) and later coached high school basketball in Ft. Pierce, Florida (2010). 

In 2011, he was named the Amateur Athletic Union’s national director of Skills Development for the AAU All-American Camps. He further honed his skills as associate head coach at IMG Academy, a boarding school known for cultivating top high school student athletes. 

“Excited to see that Southwest hired Jarrett,” said University of Memphis head men’s basketball coach Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. “He will build a winning culture and take them back to the glory days of Coach Sails. Great hire!”

Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech head men’s basketball coach and former UofM head basketball coach, called the Stephens-Southwest connection, “an excellent fit for both parties. …

“(F)or someone who knows how important basketball is to the city of Memphis, coach Stephens will do one heck of a job with that program in that city. Without a doubt coach Stephens will be hanging banners both with academic accolades and championships on the floor in the Verties Sails Gymnasium.”


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