Lincoln (PA) University announces multiple changes within its football program

Courtesy of Lincoln Athletics

Lincoln University, Director of Athletics and Recreational Services, Harry Stinson III is proud to announce several changes within the football program leadership. Current Head Coach, Joshua Dean, will transition to athletics administration and will serve as Associate Athletic Director for Revenue Generation and Alumni Engagement. Frank Turner, who has served as Associate Head Football Coach and Defensive Coordinator, has been elevated and named Head Football Coach. Demetrie McCray, Lincoln’s Defensive Backs Coach has been elevated to Defensive Coordinator effective July 1.

The 2022-23 academic year was a year full of transitions as Josh Dean served as Interim Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. During that time, Frank Turner served as acting Head Football Coach and assisted in leading the program. That time created a new dynamic which fostered new opportunities to arise surrounding career advancements. With the return of Stinson as the Director of Athletics and Recreational Services, opportunities for elevation and transition were created.

Joshua Dean has served as the Head Football Coach for Lincoln University since 2018. During his tenure as head coach, the program saw unprecedented growth on and off the field. Academically, there was an increase in team GPA from 2.3 to 2.8. On the field under Coach Dean’s leadership, Lincoln football experienced it’s first football All American (Achilies Ladut), over 10 All-CIAA Team selections, and two NFL hopefuls (Solomon Bassett and Kai Gray (Newark, N.J./Saint Peters Prep), currently in the CFL). Following the return of Athletic Director Harry Stinson, a new position to serve in athletics leadership was developed, allowing Dean to continue his career ambitions in collegiate athletics.

In Dean’s new role he will assist the Director of Athletics with fundraising, alumni engagement and also overseeing all revenue generating events. Dean will also serve as a liaison with the football program and will help Coach Turner transition into the role of Head Football Coach.

“I am thankful for the opportunity from our President, Dr. Brenda Allen, and Athletic Director Harry Stinson to become Associate Athletic Director,” stated Dean. “I look forward to working alongside our Athletics Director in our continued pursuit of championship excellence for our entire athletic department. Last season, I worked diligently to uphold the mission of the University as the Head Football Coach and Interim Athletic Director. Serving in these dual roles gave me an opportunity to advocate for the athletic department with the simultaneous needs of the administration, coaches, staff and student-athletes in mind.”

“I’m excited to welcome Josh Dean into my administrative team,” stated Stinson. “Josh Dean‘s new role will create a new opportunity to engage our alumni, sponsors and donors in ways we have not been able to do before. His connections and ability to connect with people will assist us in elevating our brand, while also developing more opportunities for revenue growth that will lead us into the new evolution of our department and creating a better experience for our student athletes.”

Frank Turner, who has served as Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator, has been elevated to Head Football Coach. Coach Turner, who arrived to Lincoln in 2018 as a part of Josh Dean‘s staff, becomes Lincoln’s 25th Head Football Coach and sixth since the Lions revived the program in 2008. Over the last six seasons, the Lion’s defense improved dramatically under Turner’s leadership. Turner, who was a standout student-athlete, was a two time 1st Team All-SIAC selection, a Black College All American and an NCAA Division II All American. As a student-athlete, Turner was part of two HBCU National Championships, three SIAC Conference Championships and two NCAA Division II Playoff appearances.

Turner began his coaching career at Fort Valley State University in 2009. During his tenure as defensive line coach, Turner coached the FVSU defense to an SIAC and NCAA number 1 ranking in total defense. He also had five NFL prospects. Turner would joined Josh Dean in leading the Kentucky State University Thorobreds from 2013-2017. During their tenure at KSU, the Thorobreds was ranked 10th nationally in total defense (2014). In 2015 the defense improved to 2nd nationally in total defense, 3rd nationally in rush defense and 6th nationally in pass defense efficiency.

“I want to first thank Dr. Allen for giving me this opportunity to be the Head Football Coach at the 1st degree granting HBCU Lincoln University,” said Turner. “Thank you A.D. Harry Stinson for having faith in my vision to lead this program into the next chapter. Thank you as well to Coach Dean, for entrusting me to help build the foundation of Lincoln Football and helping to develop me. I truly believe that adversity develops character and a man’s character determines his destiny. Through adversity we grow stronger. We are the 1st, and we are the standard, Hail! Hail! Lincoln. With tenacity, grit, and relentless pursuit of excellence we will uphold the Standard. That’s the #thelionway, let’s go to work.”

Turner, a 2006 graduate of Albany State University, received his BA in Mass Communication with an emphasis in electronic media. Turner is also a graduate of the United States Sports Academy with a Master’s Degree in Sports Management. Coach Turner is the proud father of two sons Frank Turner III and Maverick Turner.

I’m excited to welcome Coach Turner into the role of Head Football Coach,” stated Stinson. “I’ve known Frank Turner for many years and his devotion to the holistic development of our students will continue to create a culture of excellence. Coach Turner has been an integral part in the transformation of our football program while serving beside Coach Dean. I’m excited to see him in this new role and to watch him carry the torch for our program.”

Demetrie McCray, who has served as Defensive Backs Coach over the past two seasons, has been elevated to Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator. Under McCray’s leadership the defensive backs flourished into one of the top groups within the CIAA. In his first season (2021), the unit allowed just 190 yards passing per game and only 14 touchdowns (down from 230 and 34 touchdowns) and was ranked 3rd in the conference in interceptions. The unit also had a seven game streak of at least one interception. Also during that season, Rontay Dunbar(Brooklyn, N.Y./Freedom) led the CIAA in passes defended as a true freshman, along with two other defensive backs were ranked in the top 10 within the conference. The 2022 season nearly mirrored the 2021 season, with the secondary giving up just 187 yards per game and 14 touchdowns.

“First, I would like to thank A.D. Harry Stinson and Head Coach Frank Turner for this great opportunity and believing in me to take on this new role,” stated McCray. “I’m grateful to have been a part of the growth of this football program for the past two years under Coach Josh Dean. This program is trending in the right direction and we want to keep the momentum going. My title has changed but the mission is still the same…Attack The Day!”

McCray, was a three-year starter at defensive back at Albany State and was a part of nationally ranked defenses while there. He was a 2-time 1st team All-Conference selection along with being voted team’s best defensive back. He finished 5th in the nation in passes defended in 2004 and holds the school’s career championships (2003, 2004, 2005) and two HBCU National Championships (2003 & 2004).

Coach McCray has been a great addition to our program and I can’t wait to see him continue to elevate our defense in his new role as Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator,” stated Stinson. “His ability to lead and inspire students is captivating. As a coach and former player, students get to see a real example daily in Coach McCray, of what it looks like to come from an HBCU, and to play at the professional level. I’m thrilled to see Coach McCray in this new role.

McCray, a 2007 graduate from Albany State University, also played seven years in the arena football league. He finished his career with 44 interceptions, three All-Arena selections and a championship in 2011.

“Change and growth is a sign of success and our department continues to grow in our pursuit of Excellence,”  stated Stinson. The changes within our department elevates our programs and our athletic teams while keeping consistency in Leadership.

Coach Dean and Coach Turner served well during the interim period, which created advancement opportunities for their careers. I’m so excited for the transitions and elevations; and to see our programs continue to grow. Dean, Turner and McCray have each created a new dynamic and elevation of our football program, in their respective areas. In their new roles, they will each serve Lincoln in a different capacity but with the same goals in mind, to build a culture of excellence. The future for Lincoln is bright!

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