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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Neal leaving Pea Ridge

Blackhawks coach takes DC job at Deer Creek (Okla.)
Credit: KFSM

PEA RIDGE, Ark. — After a successful run as head football coach at Pea Ridge, Stephen Neal is moving on. Neal announced on Twitter Thursday that he will be taking a defensive coordinator position at Deer Creek high school in Edmond, Oklahoma.

"Words don’t express the gratitude we feel towards the Blackhawk Community for the passionate support of Blackhawk FB, but, as is normal in life, things change," said Neal in his tweet. "I have accepted the DC coaching position at Deer Creek HS in Edmond, OK. We’ll always treasure the PR FB Family."

 Neal took over in 2016, when Tony Travis left Pea Ridge for Rogers Heritage. He immediately found success, leading the team to War Memorial for the first time, where they lost in the 4A state title game to Warren.

Neal helped establish the Blackhawks at the top of the 4A-1, going 40-13 in his time at Pea Ridge.

For Neal, it's a return to his roots, as he spent  nine years in Oklahoma coaching at Tulsa Union before making the move to Pea Ridge.