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Southwest chooses Achord as head football coach

After five years as an assistant football coach at Southwest, Cameron Achord has been given the chance to show what he can do as leader of the program after being named interim head coach of the Bears.

Achord, in his fifth year with the Bears, takes on his new role following the departure of Tucker Peavey. Achord assumed the role of offensive coordinator this past year; coaches the special teams, quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends; and is the recruiting coordinator.

Director of Athletics Bill Wallace said the decision to go with Achord was made because “we wanted to retain someone already on the staff because we were familiar with them and also because of the timing of the situation.”

Wallace also said Achord was chosen because he “brings a lot to the table. He brings high energy, enthusiasm. The players we’ve recruited and that are still here are familiar with him so we just felt it was best that we elevated him.”

In addition, Wallace said Achord “did a great job in his interview. He brought up some interesting points and ideas. He’s a well-rounded young coach and we just felt he was the right fit for the job.”

Achord is a Brookhaven native and 2005 graduate of Brookhaven Academy. He is also a 2009 graduate of Belhaven University (with degrees in computer information science as well as sports administration). He received a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011.

A four-year starter at free safety at Belhaven, Achord served as a team captain in 2008 and 2009. He was a two-time Academic All-American honoree and twice named a Mid-South Conference Player of the Week. In addition, he was an All-Conference back in 2009 and an Honorable Mention back in 2007. In 2010, he participated in the NAIA Senior Classic.

Achord spent 2009-11 as a special teams graduate assistant and worked with linebackers at the University of Southern Mississippi. He spent 2012 as an offensive graduate assistant for the Eagles, working with the quarterbacks.

Achord said he is “excited about the opportunity to lead this program and plans to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the position (of head coach). Not everyone is given this esteemed opportunity and I am humbled to be able to call myself the next football coach at Southwest.”

In the short term, Achord said there will be “some changes as we look to move forward into the rest of this semester as well as next season. We are going to implement some more team competition drills and workouts early on, while we get ready to start our spring practice in early April before heading into out summer off-season program in July.”

“I believe the future of Southwest football looks bright,” Achord continued. “We have a great group of players returning for the 2018 season and we are excited about our 2018 signing class that will arrive on campus in the summer. As long as we continue to focus, maintain the right attitude, compete and work together, we will have success and those are the facts.”