Eddie Garfinkle is entering his ninth season at the helm of the Birmingham-Southern College football program. He was named head coach in February 2008 after serving as the defensive coordinator in 2007, the College's first year of playing football since 1939. He holds an overall record of 40-38 during his tenure at BSC.
Garfinkle closed the 2015 season by earning his 40th career win at home after holding off Berry College 14-7 on Nov. 7. Under his leadership, seven Panthers were named to All-Southern Athletic Association (SAA) teams including special teams player of the year Jamal Watkins and first-team all-conference selection Alex King, the latter whom went on to earn D3football.com All-South Region honors.
In both 2013 and 2014, the Panthers went 3-3 in SAA play, finishing tied for 4th in 2013 and tied for 3rd in 2014.
The 2012 season featured a Birmingham-Southern team that started 5-0 and was ranked as high as 15th in the D3football.com Top 25 national poll. After three straight losses, the Panthers rebounded to beat conference foes Centre and Millsaps on the road to finish 7-3 and earn a share of the SAA Championship. 13 Panthers were named to All-SAA teams, highlighted by tailback Shawn Morris who earned a tryout with the Washington Redskins.
In 2011, Birmingham-Southern went 7-2, finishing 4-2 against Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) opponents, and third in the league. BSC began the season with a 5-0 record, earning a first ever Top 25 Division III national ranking. 14 Panther players earned all-conference honors with Morris voted the SCAC Offensive Player of the Year. He also made the D3football.com First-Team All-America team and was voted Second-Team Associated Press Little All-American.
The 2010 season saw BSC finish 6-4 with its first four year senior class. The Panthers were 3-4 against SCAC opponents in a season that featured first time victories over LaGrange College and Huntingdon College. 10 of Garfinkle's players earned all-conference accolades including senior tailback Walter Arrington, the league's leading rusher, and fellow first team selection Ryan Creel.
Before arriving on the Hilltop, Garfinkle spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Ala., working as defensive and kicking game coordinator, as well as linebackers coach. The Jaguars made the playoffs in 2003 in only the first year that Spain Park had a senior class. The following year, the Jaguars lost to Hoover in the quarterfinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association State playoffs, finishing with a 9-4 mark.
He coached linebackers at Georgia Southern University from 1992-96 before going into private business from 1997-2001. The Eagles won the Southern Conference Championship in 1993 and advanced to the playoffs in 1995. Both of those years the Eagles lost in the NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinals to eventual national champions Youngstown State (1993) and Montana (1995).
Garfinkle entered the coaching ranks as an assistant coach at Jacksonville State University (JSU) following his three-year career at linebacker for the Gamecocks. He began as a student/graduate assistant coach from 1980-81, and spent from 1982-85 as defensive end and defensive line coach. Garfinkle wrapped up his JSU stint as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1986-1991.
The Gamecocks won seven Gulf South Conference titles and made the NCAA Division II playoffs nine times during Garfinkle's 15-year tenure as a player and coach. JSU played in the national title game three times in 1977, 1989, and 1991. During those years, Garfinkle's defenses consistently ranked in the top five in the national statistics, ranking first in scoring defense in 1989.
He earned a B.S. in education from Jacksonville State in 1981 and went on to complete a Master's in education in 1982. He is married to the former Jan Johnson of Jacksonville, Ala., and the couple resides in Hoover, Ala. They have three grown children: Katie, Elyssa, and Jake.