The Academy For Classical Education

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The Academy for Classical Education - where teachers can teach, and students will learn!  ~ 2020 National Blue Ribbon School
Athletics » Football


Head Coach: Jason Stephens
Coach Jason Stephens graduated from Westside High School where he he played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track. His senior year he earned All-State and All-Region honors in football and was chosen as the scholar athlete of the year for Bibb County. He finished in the top 50 in his graduating class and has always believed that academics is a priority. He began his coaching career at ACE in 2016 and has coached football, basketball, and track. 
Coach Stephens was a 4 year starter at Miles College in Birmingham, AL. After graduation he pursued a Masters degree at Ashford University and joined the coaching staff at his alma mater. It has been his ultimate dream to be able to coach young men since high school. He would like to be known as the coach that gave every athlete that desired to play sports on the next level a chance, and to simply know that they grew up to be great individuals.
He lives by the three H's: Stay Holy, Humble, and Hungry. His greatest accomplishment outside of starting the football program here at ACE is being married to his wife Katrina and being a father to his son Wesley.
Defensive Coordinator/Strength and Conditioning: Sam Zanders

Coach Zanders is a native of Telfair Co., where he was a four-year starter in football and Varsity letterman in track and field. He Attended Mercer University and obtained a B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Chemistry. Coach Z furthered his education, receiving an M.S. in Exercise Science and Health Promotion with a concentration in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention, Post-Masters in Rehabilitation Science, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Health and Human Performance. He currently holds over nine specializations and certifications in performance, strength and conditioning, and rehabilitation, serving as a sports performance professional for the last 14 years, consulting for multiple winning programs, national caliber Olympic weightlifters, and NCAA Division I athletes.


He serves as a head collegiate strength coach and as the State Director of Georgia for the National Association of Speed and Explosion. He has been coaching on the varsity level for six years, three as a defensive coach with Telfair Co. and three as the defensive coordinator with ACE.


Coach Z’s most significant accomplishment and joy is being married to Tiffany Zanders and being a father to their one-year-old son, Sam “Tre” Zanders, III.   


Coach Z lives, breathes, and preaches the BEEP philosophy, meaning to give your Best Effort Every Play...Person...Performance.
Quarterbacks Coach: Thomas Darrah
darrahCoach Darrah teaches Physical Education alongside Strength and Conditioning for students in grades 6-12. He is the quarterbacks coach for the Varsity football program and is also the Junior High Baseball Head Coach.
Coach Darrah graduated  from Newnan High School located in Newnan, GA. He went on to play college football at the University of Alabama and finished his career at Jacksonville State University where he played football and baseball. Coach Darrah was part of the 2009-2010 National Championship Football Team at the University of Alabama. He is currently entering his 2nd year of teaching and coaching.
"Why did I choose teaching and coaching as a career? - It has been a lifelong dream to coach high school football. I have always enjoyed helping kids reach their full potential.”
Coach Darrah and his wife have one boy, Thomas Darrah IV, and are expected a girl by March 15th. His motto is “How can I help?”
Name Position Contact
Jason Stephens Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Sam Zanders Defensive Coordinator
Thomas Darrah QB Coach
Brad Lord Junior High Head Coach
Robert Jackson Defensive Line and OLB  
Paul Johnson Offensive and Defensive Line  
Stephen Grogan DB's and WR's  
Mario Harvey Running Backs and ILB  
Brent Hunnicutt Junior High Coach  
Hank Avery Junior High Coach