Don Lee (American football)

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Don Lee
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Virginia–Lynchburg
Record 0–8
Playing career
1990–1993 Olivet Nazarene
Position(s) Defensive end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1994 Momence HS (IL) (OLB)
1995–1997 Middle Georgia JC (DE)
1998–2001 Southwest Baptist (DL)
2002 Cumberlands (LB)
2003–2005 Belhaven (AC)
2006–2008 Belhaven
2009–2010 Olivet Nazarene
2011 Concordia (AL) (AC)
2012 Concordia (AL) (DC)
2012–2014 Concordia (AL)
2014–present Virginia–Lynchburg
Head coaching record
Overall 19–60

Don Lee (born c. 1971) is a former American football player and current head coach at Virginia University of Lynchburg. He served as the head football coach at Belhaven College from 2006 to 2008 and Olivet Nazarene University from 2009 to 2010, compiling a career college football record of 19–52. Lee was the second African American head coach in history of the NAIA's Mid-South Conference[1] and is a recipient of a National Football League minority coach fellowship.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Lee played defensive end at Olivet Nazarene University[3] from 1990 until 1993, where he also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1995.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Assistant coaching[edit]

Lee's coaching career began with Momence High School in Momence, Illinois, where he served as outside linebackers coach for the school. His next move was Middle Georgia College as the defensive ends coach from 1995 to 1997. At Middle Georgia, the defense was ranked seventh in the NJCAA in total defense during the 1995 season.[5]

Lee entered the collegiate coaching ranks as defensive line coach at Southwest Baptist University from 1997 until 2001, and in 2002 moved to be the linebackers coach at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky.[1] His next move was to become an assistant coach at Belhaven, where he would later become the head coach.[6]

Belhaven[edit]

Lee was the head football coach at Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi from 2006 to 2008.[7][8] He was the fourth head football coach at the school. His record at Belhaven was 13–20.[9] The team won the Mid-South Conference West Division title in the process.[10]

After several years as an assistant coach,[11] Lee began his tenure at Belhaven by producing only the second winning season in the history of the school's football program in 2006.[12]

Lee has modified the school's approach of bringing in junior college transfer students to play and is focusing on building through new recruits. He has accented that program by bolstering a junior varsity schedule which encourages incoming freshmen to choose Belhaven through the desire of more playing time.[13] In 2007, his team Belhaven, produced a 5–6 overall record and averaged 33.7 points and allowed 37.3 per game.[14] His challenges in the 2008 season include overcoming being outscored in the fourth quarter of play[15] and overcoming a four win losing streak to begin the season.[16]

Olivet Nazarene[edit]

In December 2008, Lee was hired to serve as head coach of his alma mater Olivet Nazarene in Bourbonnais, Illinois.[17] He resigned after only two seasons in November 2010 and cited family and personal reasons for the resignation.[18] During his two year stint as head coach, Lee led the Tigers to a record of 2–20. Also during that time, Coach Lee also ruined the careers of a few players that had a chance of continuing their football career at the next level. Once acquiring the job at Olivet, it was made aware that each and every senior was an afterthought as he was, "Only building for the future. The present couldn't be helped." He turned a promising program into a program that is still recovering, and put the team into a debt that is still being worked on. To this day,

players who were there during his two year stint, still have to bite their tongue while talking about him. His final season was also cut short, due to him disappearing and not telling the players he was done, leaving behind the team and waiting until he was already moved out of his house to tell the university.[18]

Concordia College Alabama[edit]

From Olive Nazarene, Lee took an assistant position with Concordia College Alabama. In his first season, the Hornets finished the 2011 season with a 6–5 record, and won their last game against the Division II Stillman.[19] Concordia opened their 2012 season with a 20–19 upset victory over Mississippi Valley State of the Division I FCS.[20] Lee was elevated to head coach of the Hornets after the third game of the 2012 season,after the former Head Coach Shepard Skanes got fired.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Belhaven Blazers (Mid-South Conference) (2006–2008)
2006 Belhaven 6–5 6–2 1st (West)
2007 Belhaven 5–6 4–4 T–2nd (West)
2008 Belhaven 2–9 5th (West)
Belhaven: 13–20
Olivet Nazarene Tigers (Mid-States Football Association) (2009–2010)
2009 Olivet Nazarene 2–9 1–6 7th (Mideast)
2010 Olivet Nazarene 0–11 0–7 8th (Mideast)
Olivet Nazarene: 2–20 1–13
Concordia Hornets (NAIA Independent) (2012–present)
2012 Concordia 3–3
2013 Concordia 1–9
Concordia: 4–12
Virginia–Lynchburg Dragons (Independent) (2014–present)
2014 Virginia–Lynchburg 0–8
Virginia–Lynchburg: 0–8
Total: 19–60

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Columbia Daily Herald
  2. ^ National Football League "NFL minority coaching fellowship attracts 83 participants"
  3. ^ Victory Sports Network Archived March 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Belhaven College Football
  4. ^ Columbia Daily Herald He is now married to Mary Lee
  5. ^ Victory Sports Network "Belhaven's Lee Pursues Through Tough Family Issues" Jason Dannelly, February 17, 2006
  6. ^ Mid-South Conference
  7. ^ Clarion Ledger "Blazers shoot for consistency" by Stephen K. Lee, August 24, 2008
  8. ^ NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI DAILY JOURNAL "Majors target first win over Blazers" September 13, 2008
  9. ^ Belhaven College coaching records Archived 2008-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Fox 40 Now Sports Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. "2008 Belhaven College Football Preview" By Kristina Pink August 24, 2008
  11. ^ NCAA News[permanent dead link] Transactions
  12. ^ Natchez Democrat "Forrest White, Jonathan Gamberi become Blazers" By Matt Rutherford, February 13, 2007
  13. ^ Victory Sports Network Archived March 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. "Campus Report: Belhaven College-Jackson, MS" by Jason Dannelly, November 3, 2005
  14. ^ Tuscaloosa News "Revamped Tigers face Belhaven tonight" by Andrew Carroll August 30, 2008
  15. ^ Hattiesburg American "Belhaven's top priority: Be more consistent" By Stephen K. Lee, August 24, 2008
  16. ^ The Clarion Ledger "The End Zone" by Mike Christensen October 1, 2008
  17. ^ "Don Lee returns to alma mater to lead Tiger football program". NCNNews.com. December 18, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Lee resigns as Olivet's head football coach". NCNNews.com. November 9, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  19. ^ Davidson, John (November 13, 2011). "Stillman drops homecoming game to Concordia". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Concordia–Selma nips Mississippi Valley 20–19". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. September 1, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014.