VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) - On January 5th, David Dean stepped away from the Valdosta State football program to take a co-offensive coordinator position at Georgia Southern. Three weeks later, his position is filled, and on Tuesday, the Kerwin Bell era at Valdosta State University officially began.
Bell, a graduate of Lafayette High School, was introduced to the media and administration for the first time as the new head coach of the Blazers.
Bell said Tuesday during the press conference that he always wanted to become a Blazer out of high school. Unfortunately, a scholarship never came, and he went on to star at the University of Florida as a walk-on quarterback. Today, he joked that after thirty plus years, he's excited to finally have an offer from Valdosta State, and he couldn't be more excited to be there.
"This is the first time I've actually took over a program that wasn't on the ground level, and trying to build something from nothing," he said. "Here I'm excited, because we're taking over a program that's well established, like I said, has had some great leadership, got great sponsors, got great people in the community that really care, and now it's just a chance to take this program to another level."
Bell said one of his priorities is to hit the ground running when it comes to recruiting. He added his other goal is to get his offense implemented, and as far as the current Blazers? He said they've met, and they're on the same page, it's time to play Blazer football and win.
"This spring is going to be important as we go through these fifteen days of spring practice," he said Tuesday. "As we head in to the summer, we'll just keep on developing those relationships and we have to make sure by the time we hit fall, we're a close knit football group and they have total confidence in me as a head coach, and I also have total confidence in them as players. If we get to that point, and I think we will, then we'll be able to go out and have a great football season."
Bell brings extensive coaching experience to Valdosta that includes a 66-35 record over a nine year span at NCAA Football Championship Series program Jacksonville University. Under Bell's direction, the Dolphins won two Pioneer Football League championships, set a PFL record with 16 consecutive wins, and led the team to the best record in school history during the Dolphins' 10-1 run in 2010.