Spurrier Adds Familiar Faces to Coaching Staff
ORLANDO, Fla. – November 8, 2018 – The Alliance of American Football’s Orlando Apollos announced today the addition of seven coaches who will join head coach Steve Spurrier’s staff for the 2019 inaugural season beginning February 9.
The Apollos have added Jim Jeffcoat (defensive line), Todd Washington (offensive tackles), Jim Collins (linebackers), Jimmy Ray Stephens (centers/guards), Willie Jackson (wide receivers), David Reaves (running backs / quarterbacks) and Donnie Abraham (defensive backs) to the team’s coaching staff in the new professional football league.
“I am excited to bring an outstanding group of coaches in to lead this football team, many I have had the pleasure of working with in the past,” said Spurrier. “They bring championship experience from all levels of the game and we look forward to bringing a championship team to Orlando.”
Jim Jeffcoat, Defensive Line
A 14-year NFL veteran and two-time Super Bowl champion with the Cowboys, Jeffcoat joins The Apollos after serving as defensive line coach at the University of Colorado since 2013. Jeffcoat played collegiately at Arizona State University and was a first round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 1983. In the NFL, Jeffcoat played for the Cowboys (1983-94) and Buffalo Bills (1995-97) and ranks in the top 30 in sacks all-time with 102.5 in his career. He began his coaching career in Dallas, coaching the defensive line from 1998-2004. Jeffcoat coached the defensive line at the University of Houston from 2008-10 and moved to San Jose State University as defensive line coach from 2011-12 before joining the staff at Colorado.
Todd Washington, Offensive Tackles
Washington brings a winning pedigree as both a player and coach to The Apollos’ sideline. After earning first-team All-Big East honors as a senior playing on the offensive line at Virginia Tech, Washington was drafted in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Washington played eight seasons in the NFL as a member of the Buccaneers and Houston Texans and was a member of the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl XXXVIII Championship team. His coaching career began as the offensive line coach at the University of San Diego in 2007. Washington transitioned to the professional ranks in 2010, coaching the offensive line for the Hartford Colonials of the UFL for one season before being hired to the Baltimore Ravens as assistant offensive line coach from 2011-17. When the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, Washington became the 13th person to win a Super Bowl as both a player and coach in NFL history.
Jim Collins, Linebackers
Collins will add another face from Coach Spurrier’s 1996 National Championship University of Florida coaching staff to The Apollos sideline. Most recently, Collins served as the Director of Football Relations & Special Assistant to the Head Coach at Duke University, a position he took in 2016 following his third coaching stint with the Blue Devils defense from 2008-15. His coaching career began at Page High School in Greensboro, N.C. in 1974. Collins transitioned to the collegiate level in 1980, spending time coaching at Lees-McRae Junior College (1980), Appalachian State (1981-82), Duke (1983) and Jacksonville State (1984). In 1985, he began a five-year stint coaching Duke’s linebackers where he first worked with Spurrier. Collins followed Spurrier to Florida where he coached from 1990-01, helping the Gators to six SEC titles and the 1996 National Championship. Collins then coached linebackers and special teams on the professional level for the Washington Redskins from 2002-03. Collins joined the coaching staff at Marshall in 2004 where he stayed until his return to Durham in 2008.
Jimmy Ray Stephens, Centers/Guards
Stephens will reunite with Steve Spurrier after spending time in his career playing and coaching under the Head Ball Coach of The Apollos. Stephens spent the past six years at Walton High School in Defuniak Springs, Fla., where he served as head football coach and athletic director. Stephens played collegiately at the University of Florida where he was a two-time second team All-SEC player at both center and tight end. Stephens coached the tight ends and offensive line under Spurrier at UF from 1993-2002, helping guide the Gators to the 1996 National Championship. Stephens left Florida to coach the offensive line at the University of Tennessee for four seasons and later served as offensive line coach at Middle Tennessee State for six seasons before taking the job at Walton.
Willie Jackson, Wide Receivers
Jackson joins The Apollos staff after serving as the athletic director at Edward Waters College, a position he assumed in 2015. Jackson played eight seasons at wide receiver for six different teams in the NFL after being taken in the fourth round of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played under Spurrier at the University of Florida from 1990-1993, earning first-team All-SEC honors in 1992 and second-team All-SEC honors in 1991 and 1993. In 2008, Jackson was inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame.
David Reaves, Running Backs / Quarterbacks
Reaves owns more than 16 years of experience in coaching and athletics. Reaves played quarterback collegiately at Appalachian State. His coaching career began at the University of South Carolina where he coached quarterbacks from 2003-2008, serving on Coach Spurrier’s staff for four seasons. He spent one season as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Tennessee in 2009 and then served as offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach at the University of New Mexico from 2010-12. After a brief stint at IMG from 2012-13, Reaves returned to coaching as the assistant head coach at the University of South Florida from 2013-17.
Donnie Abraham, Defensive Backs
Abraham comes to The Apollos from the University of Illinois where he coached defensive backs and safeties in 2017. After playing collegiately at East Tennessee State, Abraham spent nine years in the NFL as a defensive back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-2001) and the New York Jets (2002-04), leading the league in interceptions in 1999 and playing in the 2000 Pro Bowl. He began coaching in 2005 at the high school level in Florida with stops at East Lake High School (2005-08, 2012), Gibbs High School (2009-10), Clearwater High School (2013-14) and IMG Academy (2015-16). Abraham also coached defensive backs for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League from 2011-12.