Eddie Strong named MS Raiders head coach – Arena football team opens season March 23 at Civic Center

Published 9:07 am Friday, February 23, 2024

By Myra Bean

MS Raiders Sportswriter

The Arena Indoor football team, MS Raiders, has named Batesville native Eddie Strong as the head coach for 2024.

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Strong, 43, a former Ole Miss linebacker, played with the Rebels from 1998 to 2003. One year he sat out with a medical redshirt.

Strong was very excited to accept his first head coaching position and challenge to coach these young men in this high-octane league. The motto for Arena Indoor football is the “fastest game in town.”

“We have great players lined up and I look forward to teaching them all I have learned about football over the years,” Strong said.

He was instrumental and helped put South Panola football on the map as he was named the first ever Gatorade Player of the year from South Panola and a Dandy Dozen in 1997. He helped lead South Panola to the state championship game in 1996 and 1997.

In 2003, Strong signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants, but injury sidelined him.

He was named to the 2002 Coaches All-SEC first time and played in the East-West Shrine game. He finished his Ole Miss career with 306 tackles (179 solos), 10.5 sacks for minus 78 yards, 26 tackles for losses of 104 yards, 13 quarterback pressures, 13 pass deflections, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.

Raiders President of Operations, Jamye Horton, said he feels good about Strong and his leadership.

“I know he will do a great job,” Horton said. “He knows not just about football but about life. I am so proud of him.”

Horton also said the players were excited when they heard Strong would be their head coach.

Strong is in the process of selecting his coaching staff. MS Raiders will open the 2024 season March 23 at the Batesville Civic Center. Tickets are on sale at msraidersbatesville.com.