CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Monday, officials with Mississippi College (MC) announced that head football coach John Bland decided to step down from his position.

MC officials said Bland, who has led the football program for the past 10 years, has communicated his desire to pursue other opportunities.

During his tenure at MC, Bland was challenged with returning the football program back into a highly competitive Gulf South Conference (GSC) after a 17-year stint in Division III. He was named GSC Coach of the Year in 2019.

“I deeply appreciate the opportunity to lead the Choctaws football team. I have had the privilege of coaching some exceptional student-athletes who have worked hard to represent this university with excellence both on and off the field. While it is a bittersweet moment to step down, I am excited to explore new challenges and opportunities in my coaching career,” said Bland.

“We are extremely grateful for Coach Bland’s dedication and hard work throughout his time at Mississippi College. He has been a true leader and role model for our student-athletes, leaving a lasting legacy within our football program. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” said MC Athletic Director Kenny Bizot.

The search for a new head football coach at MC will begin immediately.