FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – There's no better way to give back to your alma mater, than to be actively involved in your school's success. Many football players have come and gone through the Northern Arizona program, but one former player that continues to be a familiar face year round is Kevin Stephens. A quarterback for the Lumberjacks in the 1990's, Stephens is the current president of the Lumberjack Athletic Association and the color analyst for all football home and away games. You can find Stephens taking time out of his busy day at HintonBurdick CPAs & Advisors, and catching him on the sidelines of NAU's practices throughout the season.
Not only is Stephens the LAA President and the color analyst for Lumberjack football, his company is also the sponsor of the HintonBurdick Grand Canyon Trophy – the title sponsor of the 'Jacks rivalry game with Southern Utah every year.
Stephens sat down with the NAU Athletics Communications staff to answer a few questions NAU Football.
1. You were recently named the president of the LAA board. As a former student-athlete at NAU, how does it feel to be able to be a part of a group whose main goal is to fund student-athlete scholarships? It is a real honor to be associated with the Lumberjack Athletic Association. I have benefited from NAU far more than it will ever benefit from me. Everything from the Athletic Department, to the W.A Franke College of Business where I earned my accounting degree, to the Community Music and Dance Academy where my daughters take ballet; I want to do my part in passing the legacy of NAU on to others.
2. How has NAU Football evolved from when you were a player? The game itself has evolved dramatically. I probably would not be a scholarship athlete if I had to play in today's game. NAU has done a good job adjusting to the constant change within college football and, for that matter, within intercollegiate athletics as a whole. We have great leadership in the Athletic Department that is helping manage that change. Also, the Skydome renovation a few years back was a hallmark event and change from when I was a student-athlete. I tell people all the time what a great venue the Skydome is for watching college football.
3. What was your favorite game from last season and why? The come-from-behind and last second victory over No. 2 Eastern Washington has to be at the top of the list. What a fantastic year for the Skydome. Two unbelievable fourth quarter comebacks over Cal Poly and Eastern in football and then the incredible run that Coach (Jack) Murphy had in March and into April with the men's basketball program. It was a lot of fun.
4. What game are you most looking forward to this season and why? I'm really excited about the opener against Stephen F. Austin. I love non-conference games against quality FCS opponents and this is certainly one of those. It's going to be a real test in a difficult setting. In fairness though, I'm also excited about the remainder of the schedule; especially conference games against Montana, Montana State and Eastern Washington.
5. What's your favorite part about being able to call football games? Two things: First, I love being around the game. Whether it's watching spring practice or calling the fourth quarter of a critical conference matchup, I just love football. Second, I really cherish the people I'm able to work with including my long-time broadcast partner Mitch Strohman, so many people throughout the Athletic Department and Television Services, and others from across the conference that I've gotten to know through the years and have developed great friendships with.
6. In college you were a quarterback. What would be another position you would have loved to play? This will sound weird, but I have always been fascinated by the technical aspects of offensive line play and the schematic approaches of pass protection. Because of that I'm going to say the offensive line.