FULTON, Miss. (WCBI/LetsGoICC.com) – It’s official. Two weeks after being named interim head coach, Sean Cannon was officially introduced as the new head football coach at Itawamba Community College during a press conference at the David C. Cole Student Services Building on Tuesday.
“I feel very blessed to not only be a head football coach, but a head football coach at a great institution like Itawamba Community College. There is not only a lot of tradition in our athletic programs, but also in our school as a whole. We have a lot to sell here at Itawamba Community College. A lot of coaches work their whole life to become a head football coach, and I’m very appreciative of the administration, President (Mike) Eaton, Mr. (Buddy) Collins and Coach (Carrie) Ball-Williamson for giving me this opportunity.”
Cannon, 39, a native of Calhoun City, succeeds Jon Williams as the 11th head coach in ICC history after spending the last four seasons as the program’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
“Working here at ICC for the last four years has really prepared me for the job. I’m not coming in new, so knowing how things work, whom to call and how our school operates will not be a big adjustment. Jon Williams prepared me for this opportunity from the first day I walked in the door back in 2010. My biggest challenge now is going from managing the defensive players to now managing the entire football team.”
The 16-year coaching veteran has helped ICC win 21 games as defensive coordinator and has consistently guided the Indians to Top 25 finishes in every major defensive category.
“We will keep the standards high in our program. Our first priority is to recruit football players to our program and give them all the resources they need to be successful. The academic structure is top-notch at ICC, and we will make sure our players leave here with a degree when their football playing days are over. We want the players who come through our program to have a successful experience while they are here.”
Prior to ICC, Cannon coached linebackers and served as strength and conditioning coach for the University of North Alabama where he helped the Lions to an overall record of 44-7 along with two Gulf South Conference championships, three NCAA quarterfinals and one NCAA semifinal finish.
A standout defensive tackle at Delta State University, Cannon coached at his alma mater from 1997 through the 2004 season, serving for five years as defensive line coach and two seasons as defensive coordinator and linebacker coach. During his time in Cleveland, the Statesmen won two Gulf South Conference championships as well as the 2000 NCAA DII National Championship.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work for some great head coaches in my career who have prepared me for this opportunity. I took a little from all of them and molded my philosophy, and now it will be time to put my plan into action. We have had great success in my time here. We have won some big football games; returned to the playoffs and players have graduated, moved on and continued their academic and athletic career. The one thing that community college athletics gives young men is a chance to be able to get an education and continue their athletic career as well as an opportunity to be able to do what they want to do not what they have to do.”
Cannon earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Delta State. He is married to the former Julia Gaston of Mendenhall. They have a son, Wade, and two daughters, Jenna and Josie.