E.A. Sports Today

Harrells out at Sacred Heart

Brothers, one the head girls basketball coach, the other athletics director, won’t have contracts renewed for coming school year 

Coaching brothers Marcus and Brock Harrell (back row right) stand with their team after winning an area championship this year.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Marcus and Brock Harrell, coaching brothers who built the Sacred Heart girls basketball team into a regional contender in three years, were told by school officials Thursday their contracts would not be renewed for the upcoming academic year.
Marcus was the program’s head coach. Brock was the associate head coach as well as the school’s athletics director.
“From what we were told in our statement it was due to enrollment changes and curriculum designs,” Brock Harrell said Thursday night.
It was not immediately known how the school would fill the vacancies. Retiring Pleasant Valley principal Mark Proper is coming in as Sacred Heart’s principal in the next school year. He was not involved in Thursday’s decisions.
Sacred Heart administrators could not be reached for comment Thursday night..

The last two years have been the winningest seasons in the program’s history and each ended in an overtime loss in the Class 2A Northeast Regional semifinals, an AHSAA competitive-balance promotion due to the boys’ team ultra-success in Class 1A.

This past season the girls went 23-8 and fell to Sand Rock in the regionals 62-57 after taking a 48-40 lead into the fourth quarter. The year before they went 24-5 and lost to Fyffe 75-69. Their first year together they lost to Decatur Heritage in the 1A subregionals.
“It’s definitely always hard (to leave) because of the relationship with the kids,” Brock Harrell said. “We’re thankful for the time we had at Sacred Heart. We were able to go in there and start from ground zero and build up to be a good program.
“It was a fun ride and now it’s time for us to take up a new adventure and new challenge. We’re ready to get to work.”
And they are hopeful to be coaching again together.
“We’re real strongly rooted in our faith,” Brock Harrell said. “We know what we have to offer and our work ethic. It’s one of those things if you give us an opportunity we’ll do everything we can to capitalize on it.”

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