Joyner has served as athletic director and men's basketball coach for his alma mater for the last 18 years. Photo: Johnson C. Smith University

Stephen Joyner Sr., has decided to step down as the athletics director at Johnson C. Smith University. Joyner will remain in the role until a successor is announced.

He will remain the men’s basketball coach.

The announcement was made by the school on Wednesday afternoon.

Joyner has served in both roles at his alma mater for the last 18 years.

“The timing is right,” 72-year-old Joyner said in a statement released by the school. “It will be good for the new president to hire new athletics department leadership as the university’s transformation initiatives accelerate with the new president’s vision for JCSU.”

JSCU’s president, Clarence D. Armbrister, praised Joyner for “leading the athletic program through years of change in intercollegiate athletics, realignment in the CIAA and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 “He has also been instrumental in the first visible signs of the recent transformation of our athletics program with the installation of artificial turf on the football field and the development of an athletics resource center for all of our student-athletes that will house, among other things, an academic support center and training facilities.”

Joyner, a stand-out point guard in Golden Bulls basketball from 1969-1973, returned to his alma mater as assistant women’s basketball coach in 1978 and became the head coach in 1980. 

He was named head men’s basketball coach in 1987 and was appointed as Director of Athletics in 2005, by President Dorothy Cowser Yancy. 

During his tenure as Athletics Director, the Golden Bulls have claimed CIAA titles in track and field (indoor – 2017; outdoor – 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016), women’s basketball (2009, 2017) and men’s basketball (2001, 2008, 2009). 

Track and field won national champions under his leadership and produced four Olympians (2012, 2016, 2021), and JCSU hosted the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2007, 2010 and 2018 – the only HBCU to serve as host site. 

He was also named CIAA Athletics Director of the Year for the 2008-2009 season.

“His immense contributions to Johnson C. Smith University’s Athletics department and to the CIAA will endure,” Armbrister said. “ The University is grateful for his service, and we look forward to him having even more success as he continues as head men’s basketball coach.”

Jalon is a general assignment reporter for QCity Metro. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and an avid sports fan. (

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