FDA offensive coordinator Sorrells takes job in LA

Published 4:38 pm Monday, July 12, 2010

Fort Dale Academy is losing its offensive coordinator to the west coast. Stephen Sorrells has left the school to take a position as offensive line coach and running game coordinator for Division III Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif.

Sorrells directed the Eagles’ offense for one season. Fort Dale averaged 35 points per game, featuring a spread attack that blended both the run and pass equally well. With starting quarterback Hunter Armstrong returning for his senior season, Sorrells said any prospective move from Fort Dale would be based on what type of opportunity was available.

He said he found that opportunity in Occidental College.

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“I wasn’t just going to take a job to take a job because it was going to take a great situation to get me to leave Fort Dale because I really wanted to coach Hunter his senior year,” said Sorrells. “After they flew me to Los Angeles, I knew it was the perfect fit.”

Occidental College, which competes in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), has won its conference seven out of the last nine seasons.

“It was a chance to experience football in a different part of the country and work with a great group of guys that have had a lot of success at the college level,” said Sorrells.

Sorrells said the year at Fort Dale renewed his enthusiasm for the job. He said coaching stints at Faulkner University (2006-07) and at Cottage Hill Christian (2008) had sapped the joy from the profession, for a number of different reasons.

“This past season brought the fun back to coaching for me and reminded me of the aspirations I have as a football coach,” said Sorrells. “It was a great experience to watch Hunter not only grow into a great quarterback, but a great leader as well. He knows the offense and sees the field better than any quarterback I have ever had.”

Sorrells played under head coach James “Speed” Sampley at Fort Dale and credited Sampley to helping him develop as a coach.

“I wouldn’t have this opportunity if it wasn’t for Coach ‘Speed,’” said Sorrells.

Sampley said he encouraged Sorrells to accept the job in Los Angeles.

“Stephen wants to coach in college,” said Sampley. “He wasn’t sure he wanted to do it. I told him ‘you’re only young and single once. If you want to coach in college this is what you have to do.’ College coaches, when they first start out, don’t make a lot of money… they work a lot of hours. But if this is what he wanted to do in life he needed to go, because you never know when another opportunity like this will come up.”

Sampley completely turned the offensive play-calling over to Sorrells last year, the first time he’s done that in 23 years of coaching, he said.

He’ll reassume those responsibilities this year, he said.