Saint Coaching Staff
Meet the SSHS Coaching Staff!
- Billy Baker
- Andy Bennett
- Jimmy Bowman
- Ricky Deyton
- Jason Fulbright
- Amanda Griffin
- Julie Harris
- Rafael Ibarra-Orozco
- Matt Jones
- Savannah Jones
- Kyle Lowman
- James Mayfield
- Eric Mendel
- Fernando Muñoz
- Patrick Smith
- Tina Voudouris
Coach Baker has been married to his wife Dee Dee for 22 years. They met as student-athletes at ASU and have 4 children together. Coach Baker has been fortunate to have been a high school teacher and coach for 28 years. Most of that time has been spent here at St. Stephens High School. Coach Baker serves as a business teacher, wrestling coach, and athletic director.
One of the highlights of his career was coaching his son Blake and his friends to a State Wrestling Championship. His wife served as a team mom and his daughter Rylee was a scorekeeper.
Coach Baker loves his job and feels blessed to be here at St. Stephens. He loves our students, our school, and our community. When he is not around school, he enjoys family time and fishing.
Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Appalachian State University
Masters in Business and Marketing from North Carolina State University
National Board Certified Teacher
Golden Apple Teacher of the Year
Conference Coach of the Year (15 times)
Mat News NC 3A Coach of the Year (3 times)
National Federation of High Schools NC Coach of the Year
National Federation of High Schools Southern States (7) Coach of the Year
National Wrestling Coaches Association NC Coach of the Year
North Carolina High School Athletics Association Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award
NC Wrestling Coaches Association Board Member 2006 – Present
NC Wrestling Coaches Association Vice President 2016 – 2018
NC Wrestling Coaches Association President 2018 – 2021
2015 Lincoln County Sports Hall of Fame
2020 Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame
Coach Jason Fulbright: Women's Cross Country, Women's Basketball and Track & Field
Coach Fulbright's coaching experience:
Track & Field:
2004 - 2009 - Bunker Hill High School
2010 - South Caldwell High School
2011 - Alexander Central High School
2012-2014 - Lenoir-Rhyne University
2014-Present - St. Stephens High School
2006 - 2008 - Bunker Hill High School
2009-2010 - RiverBend Middle School
2011 - South Caldwell High School
2012 - University Christian High School
2014-Present - St. Stephens High School
2007 - 2009 - Bunker Hill High School
2010 - 2012 - Catawba Valley Community College
2013 - present - St. Stephens High School
In Coach Fulbight’s spare time, he can be found at Catawba Valley Community College helping with the Gameday operations for their athletic department. Coach Fulbright is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Business Administration, and is the Online Facilitator at St. Stephens High School. Coach Fulbright is inspired by quotes and this one by John Wooden is special: “In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, and not the tournaments. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.”
Cheerleading coach Amanda Griffin was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico as an "Air Force Brat." Her family moved several times and finally settled in Newton, NC in 1997 where she attended Fred T. Foard High School and graduated in 2000. She attended Lenoir-Rhyne and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education in 2005. She also has a Master of Arts in Middle Grades Education and a Masters of School Administration from Appalachian State University.
Coach Griffin taught 6-8 grade science, social studies, and English for 12.5 years at Newton-Conover Middle School. While there, she also coached middle school cheer for 8 years.
She came to St. Stephens High School to teach English in January 2018. She has taught English II, English III, and English IV at SSHS. She is also starting her fourth season as coach for JV and Varsity cheer at SSHS!
Coach Julie Harris: Volleyball
Coach Julie Harris is starting her 13th year as a volleyball coach in the fall of 2021. She has worked under a state championship coach, helped take a team to their first state play-off berth and has coached 7 athletes who have gone on to play at the collegiate level.
Coach Harris' college career was spent at Lenoir-Rhyne College where she played middle blocker and right side and served as one of the team captains her senior year. She received a B.A. degree in Health and Physical Education with a concentration in Exercise Science.
Her objective as a coach is to help athletes understand their character, respect for self and others, integrity and that sportsmanship comes first within our team. This also includes home, school and community. With these characteristics being practiced, then and only then, will we be able to focus on our season goals as a team and individuals. Each athlete is on their own sports journey, each has a different perspective of what high school sports should be about, each has their own talent level and each must respect the level of others. As female athletes, it is so important to support one another and not tear each other down. Coach Harris wants to help each athlete accomplish this.
She aims to coach the fundamentals and help the players master them before trying to move onto the more advanced levels of play. If they don’t master the fundamentals, it will be very frustrating for them as an athlete and me as a coach. She aims to help them become more aware of how to apply what they learn in practice to game day competition. Therefore, it is important that athletes can develop, over time, the ability to assess, evaluate and correct themselves and teammates in competitive situations to produce the best possible performance.
It is playing with integrity, making the right choices during and after each practice/game and playing with heart and no excuses that determine a successful volleyball player, which leads to a successful team. There is no substitute for hard work. Hard work combined with the philosophy of constant communication and team first, success is inevitable.
Play and practice with passion and persistence and be patient during the process. Trust the process. Success does not happen overnight!
Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success”.
Coach Rafael Ibarra-Orozco is starting his 2nd year coaching and teaching at Saint. He is a St. Stephens graduate and played football here when he was in high school. He is glad to be back at his alma mater and coaching where he played in high school makes coaching mean that much more! He coaches the Defensive Line for the football team and he is an assistant coach for the basketball team.
Coach Ibarra-Orozco teaches in the history department at SSHS.
Head Football Coach Kyle Lowman
Coach Kyle Lowman has just joined SSHS as the head football coach. He taught math at Bandys for 19 years. He graduated from Bandys (1998) and from Lenoir-Rhyne (2002). He has coached both football and baseball in the past. He lives in Newton with his wife and their three daughters. Welcome to the tribe, Coach Lowman!
Coach Lowman teaches in the PE department at SSHS.
Men's Lacrosse Head Coach & Assistant Football Coach Eric Mendel
Coach Eric Mendel will be starting his 9th season as the head men's Lacrosse coach at SSHS. In addition to lacrosse, he also acts as an assistant football coach. Coach Mendel is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but has been in North Carolina since 2009.
Coach Mendel teaches in the math department at SSHS.
Soccer coach Fernando Muñoz is 27 years old. He is an alumni of SSHS and he played soccer for Saint from 2008 through 2012. For his "day job", Coach Muñoz is a calibration technician for a company in Hickory called Lincotek Surface Solutions. He has been coaching soccer for 9 years: 7 years with the Little Indians PTO, 3 years at Challenger High School, and 3 years here at St. Stephens High School.
In addition to serving as the Head Men's Soccer coach, he is also the Assistant Women's Soccer coach.