Strong named MS Raiders head coach

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Arena football team opens season March 23 at B’ville Civic Center

By Myra Bean
MS Raiders sports writer

The Arena Indoor football team the 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 red shirt.

Strong said he was very excited to accept his first head coaching position and he felt challenged 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.

Strong was considered instrumental in helping put South Panola football on the map; 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 the 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. The MS Raiders will open the 2024 season March 23 at the Batesville Civic Center. Tickets are on sale at