Mark Stephens named systemwide athletic director for Cullman City Schools

Mark Stephens has been named the new Athletics Director for Cullman City Schools. (Cullman High School)

CULLMAN, Ala. — Mark Stephens is adding a few more athletic programs to his purview in Cullman City Schools. Already the athletic director at Cullman High School, Stephens will now serve as athletic director for all Cullman City Schools athletic programs. Retired former CHS football coach Mark Britton previously served as systemwide athletic director.

Stephens will have more of a hand in athletic programs at Cullman Middle School now, as well as his existing duties at Cullman High School, with the hope of creating more continuity between the philosophies at both schools.

“Although they do a great job at Cullman Middle School we want to continue to build the vertical development of all of our athletic programs,” Stephens said. “Our goal is to make the transitions from middle school athletics up to varsity athletics a seamless process. I will provide the same support and vision for Cullman Middle School as we have here at Cullman High School. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Shannon at Cullman Middle School are open minded and extremely easy to work with, we share many of the same visions and values in athletics.”

Looking ahead to the years to come, Stephens said he hopes to grow the athletic programs influence into youth programs, an effort already underway with initiatives like the Bearcat Baseball Academy under Cullman High School baseball coach Brent Patterson, and the “Chaos” youth basketball program with reigning state championship coach Stu Stuedeman.

“We are hopeful to grow this in all of our programs. Our relationship with Cullman Parks and Recreation is as good as I can ever remember,” he said. “Mayor Jacobs, the Cullman City Council, city parks director Nathan Anderson and former director Zac Wood have done a tremendous job collaborating with our athletic department on various projects and programs.”

Extracurricular activities and athletics are a key piece of the puzzle in building a successful and engaged school culture, and Stephens added this expanded responsibility is not one he takes lightly.

“In my own personal life, I owe everything to being involved in athletics here in Cullman City Schools. I can’t say enough about the impact my coaches had on me and the doors that athletics opened,” he said. “I appreciate the Cullman City School Board, Superintendent Kallhoff and Principal Tuggle for the opportunity to continue to lead in such an important expanded role. The future is bright in Cullman City Schools.”

Superintendent Kallhoff added he has full confidence in Stephens and is excited to see the growth and success to come for Cullman City Schools athletics.

“We have amazing student athletes, coaches and sports programs in Cullman City Schools,” he said. “I’m excited to see how Coach Stephens continues to build on and improve the tremendous success we’ve had.”