Stetson University is returning to the football field after a 57-year absence and a Starkville native will try to help get the program off the ground.
Harrison Young, a 2004 graduate of Starkville High School, will be a part of a Hatter coaching staff that's preparing a team for its first game in the fall of 2013.
"To get the opportunity to get out and get started means a great deal to me and my family," Young said. "We're looking to get this program started from the ground up and I'm looking to get my name out there."
Stetson is located in DeLand City, Fla., which is 14 minutes outside of Daytona, Fla., and Young calls it "a great campus and great place."
After Young finished playing college football at Mississippi College, he became a student coach for defensive coordinator Brian Young and head coach Norman Joseph.
Brian Young left MC and took a job at Cornell University. He left Cornell and became the defensive coordinator at Stetson.
Harrison was encouraged by Brian to join him on the Hatter staff. Harrison jumped at the chance.
"We developed a relationship as a player and coach," Harrison Young said. "It was a real close relationship. (Brian Young and Joseph) are the two coaches that got my feet down and running in this business."
Harrison Young joins the Stetson staff next month and his main responsibilities will be coaching the secondary, recruiting and video breakdown.
One of the main reasons Young wanted to get into coaching was to guide young men and be a positive role model like coaches Bill Lee, Ronnie Cuevas, Cleveland Hudson, Tate Fischer, Brian Young and Joseph were to him.
"My passion is to help out this generation because there are some kids out there who are lost and growing up in one-parent homes," Harrison Young said. "I want to give back and do my part because I had a whole lot of great influences and great coaches that took me under their wing and showed me the way.
"With my own two eyes, I saw what they were trying to say about putting the time in and have a good work ethic. That's the difference from being a man and a boy. If you put your work into it and mind into it, you can do anything you want to do. If you slack off and halfway do it, nothing will work out for you. I want to show (Stetson players) how to do things and not cut corners."
Young said one of the first coaches he can remember making a difference in his life was AAU coach Russell Tate.
"He came to me, talked to me as a man, brought me up and showed me the way," Young said. "He not only coached me, but from a perspective of as long as you put God first and put your mind to it and work to it, you can pretty much achieve anything. Coming up through high school, he was pretty much the first coach who showed me the way to do things the right way."
Young's first year of playing varsity football for the Yellowjackets came at a good time in 2001 as they won the state championship under Lee.
Even though he was only a sophomore, Young grew quite a bit during that season.Â
"It was a real good experience," Young said. "I played a little bit here and there during my sophomore season and the guys who came before me, looked after me and taught me the right way to do things and took me under their wing. We had a real good tradition then."
As Stetson begins its quest as a Division I-AA program, Young will contribute in any way he can to make a positive impact.
This is my career and this is what I want to do," Young said. "My passion is to get in and help kids to fulfill their dreams so they can do what they want to do and feel passion about.
"It's going to be a good experience and learning curve for my coaching career."View more articles in: