CORDOVA, Tenn. (WREG) — Joey Magnifico was laying turf in people’s backyards when he got the call from St. Benedict at Auburndale.
“Working from 7 to 5, hot days,” said Magnifico. “Got a call to ask if I wanted to be the head coach and I jumped right on it.”
It was a no-brainer for the former Tiger to take the head coaching job at the school he once suited up for. And, he brought on another former Tiger, Kedarian Jones to help lead the Eagles offense.
“He called me, and he told me straight up what is was, ‘hey man, I accepted the head coaching job at my old high school, and I want you to be the OC,'” Jones said. “Honestly, it didn’t take any second thought about it. I have had Joey’s back since the day we met each other when we got on campus.”
“We’ve played at Memphis for five years, so our connection is literally telepathical,” said Magnifico.
That’s probably because they were both explosive on offense at the U of M, a part of four of the top five offenses in program history.
Magnifico etched his name in the Tigers history books, pulling in the most receiving yards ever by a tight end.
And, they’re ready to instill what they learned at the U of M into their young team.
“I was in your shoes eight years ago,” said Magnifico. “I’m not going to lie to you, I’m literally taking everything I learned from Memphis and I’m instilling it into y’all. Memphis taught me how to have a winning culture and a winning attitude with everything you do from the moment you walk in to you walk in. So, that’s what I’m trying to do here even though I’m not much older, I think I have their respect.”
“It brings a joy, similar to what I have to playing myself kind of just being able to instill in these young men what I’ve learned over the years of just playing the game and how to approach the game as a man and what it can teach you on and off the field,” Jones said. “So, giving back my knowledge of what I’ve been through to these young men is really what keeps me going every day to come out here.”
The Eagles are in a tough Division II-AAA West where they haven’t won a district match up since 2012.
Magnifico knows it going to take some time to really turn this program around, but he’s here for the long haul.
“I stay here, not going to turn it around in a year or two like – I’m committed here for a while,” said Magnifico. “I’m trying to turn this thing around. It’s my alma mater. I would love to see nothing more than us winning here, so I’m going to do everything I can.”
“As long as my players go hard every play, no matter what the score is at the end of the game they’re still fighting.”
The Magnifico era at SBA officially begins Friday night at Brighton.