The Burke County Bears have hired a familiar face to be their next head football coach. Dr. Franklin Stephens Jr. is a 1991 Burke County High School graduate, and will take over the Bears’ football program after longtime head coach Eric Parker retired earlier this year.

Stephens was a two-time All-American offensive tackle at Georgia Southern, before a few seasons in various professional leagues. He started his coaching career as an assistant at Burke County in 1996. The last 16 years, he’s been the head coach at Tucker, where he won two state championships, then Lamar County and Ware County. He’s spent the last four seasons as the head coach at McEachern, winning a pair of region championships.

He also holds the distinction of reaching 100 wins in Georgia high school football faster than any coach in GHSA history.