After seven years on the Decatur staff, Nick Stokes is getting his chance to take over the Eagles’ defense.
Decatur Athletic Director Kyle Story recently announced that Stokes will become Eagles defensive coordinator. He replaces Chris Jones, who resigned last month to take the same role at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano.
”He played for me and was a junior when I got here in ’99,” Story said. “He did a good job as a linebacker. After college, he came back and joined our staff and has kept working himself up.
“He worked with Coach Jones and learned a lot. He’s definitely ready for it. It’s time for him to step into a coordinator’s role.”
Stokes graduated from Decatur in 2001. He coached defensive backs last season.
He said he is looking forward to taking on the job and trying to building on the unit he helped Jones build.
“It’s a great honor, and I’m excited for the opportunity,” he said. “I’ve known Coach Story for a long time, and he’s taught me a lot. I’m excited to work with him and the kids in this capacity.
“Coach Jones was a great defensive coach, and we’ll do a lot of the same things.”
The Decatur defense held opposing teams to under 275 yards per game during the Eagles’ perfect regular season.
The Eagles return just three starters on the defensive side of the ball. Story said Stokes’ energy should help the young unit.
“Kids respond and respect him,” Story said. “He’ll do an outstanding job.”
Stokes has had success with his secondary and also his boys soccer program, which has been in the Class 4A playoffs two of the past three seasons, getting kids to push themselves.
“I have an ability to relate to kids and get them to play hard,” Stokes said.
“We want our defense to be fast, simple and aggressive, and make it fun for the kids.”
Story also elevated freshmen coach Casey Jones to receivers coach. Story said Jones will continue coaching the freshmen along with his new duties.