Mount Abe P.E. teacher to lead Eagle football
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham-Vergennes cooperative football team has a new head coach, Mount Abraham Union High School physical education teacher and former Champlain Valley Union football team defensive coordinator Jeffrey Stein.
According to Mount Abe Athletic Director Devin Wendel, Stein will bring to the program “a strong defensive package and skillset.”
Wendel noted that in addition to serving as CVU’s defensive coordinator Stein was selected as the 2018 Vermont Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team’s linebacker coach, helping the team to hold Hampshire to fewer than 14 points and 208 yards this past summer.
Stein has also coached at several schools in North Carolina including at his alma mater, East Surry High School, where he became an all-state linebacker in 2002 and an all-conference linebacker from 2000 to 2002. Stein was also a decorated linebacker at Averett University from 2003 to 2007.
“With his strong presence at Mount Abraham as a PE teacher we are excited to have him lead our program and help to grow a positive football culture for years to come,” Wendel said.
Stein said he was happy to have a chance to lead the Mount Abe-VUHS program.
“I am excited to have this opportunity. I am looking forward to the challenge of the head role at the varsity level. I look forward to the process of building on the excitement around our Mount Abraham/Vergennes Cooperative Football program both within the building and our communities at large,” Stein said. “I am excited to build strong ties all the way from the youth level on upward to varsity in an effort to give our student-athletes the best chance of success.”
Wendel said Stein would focus on his players on and off the field.
“Jeff is a firm believer that success is not only measured on the field but also in the classroom and within the community. He strives to create a culture where the young student-athletes that participate within his program will learn life lessons that will prepare them for success in all aspects of life,” he said.
Stein replaces Lee Hodsden, whose hard work helped lead the Eagles to the playoffs regularly in Division III, although the program found less success on the field after it was bumped up to D-II, where it is expected to remain.
Wendel praised Hodsden for working time that went above and beyond the call of duty and the “countless little things” he did.
“He put in a ton of hours and crazy amount of time and energy into the program,” Wendel said.
Wendel acknowledged the fewer wins in the past couple of years might have taken a toll, but said Hodsden mostly wanted to see more of his wife and two grown sons, both of whom played on the Eagle team in the past.
“I think he’s looking to get some time back and spend some time with his family,” he said.
Wendel praised Hodsden’s passion for the game and desire for the players to succeed in life.
“He demanded excellence both on an off the field. His time commitment and love for the kids was second to none,” he said. “We thank him hugely for his time and service to the school.”
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