FERRUM — Scott McConnell, a former assistant football coach at Averett University, has accepted a similar position at Ferrum College on the staff of first-year head coach Cleive Adams, his former sideline boss with the Cougars.
Ferrum Director of Athletics John Sutyak confirmed McConnell’s hiring in a press release Wednesday.
McConnell replaces Devan Sproles on the Panthers’ coaching staff.
Sproles, who joined the staff former head coach Rob Grande in the summer of 2016, resigned to accepted an assistant coaching position at Franklin County High School.
Eagles head coach J.R. Edwards confirmed Sproles’ hiring Wednesday afternoon in an email. His responsibilities on the varsity staff have yet to be determined, Edwards said Thursday morning in a second email.
Sutyak said there are no other openings on the football staff “at this time.’’
“We are excited to have Scott joining the Ferrum football staff and we are excited for Devan and his new role in the county. He was a tremendous asset to Ferrum the past few years as a member of our coaching staff,’’ Sutyak said in an email.
“I’m thrilled to bring Scott onto our staff at Ferrum,’’ Adams said in the release. “His work ethic and drive will fit in well here as we continue to raise the bar with Black Hats football.’’
More than 80 players are eligible to return for the Panthers this fall, athletic department officials said. Ferrum is coming off a 4-6 season, one in which the Panthers finished 3-5 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).
While at Averett, McConnell coached defensive backs and served as the football program’s recruiting coordinator.
Prior to last year, McConnell spent one year at Hampton University as a tight ends coach and three years as defensive coordinator and director of football operations at the Apprentice School.
McConnell is a past head coach and defensive coordinator at Jireh Preparatory Academy, a past assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy and a past assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Southern Virginia University.
McConnell is a 2007 graduate of Emory & Henry College where he played football for the Wasps. As a senior, he earned a spot ODAC’s All-Academic team.
Sproles, a 2013 graduate of Emory & Henry, came to Ferrum after serving as an assistant football coach and assistant wrestling coach at John Battle High School in Abingdon for two years.
Sproles was four-year starter at linebacker for the Wasps. He earned first team All-ODAC honors in 2011 and was voted the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year.
Also in 2011, Sproles was a finalist for the Lanier Award, presented annually to Virginia’s Small College Player of the Year as selected by the Richmond Touchdown Club.