E.A. Sports Today

Bulldog tough

Harrell brings a hard-work approach that produced success at White Plains, Sacred Heart into his new job as Ranburne’s boys basketball coach
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Marcus Harrell has coached girls golf to state championships, boys golf to a runner-up finish and a girls basketball team to the regional semifinals – all in programs that had never done any of that before. Now he’s taking on another sport at a different school with the same approach that produced success in his stops before.
Harrell was hired as the new boys basketball coach at Ranburne High School Monday. He most recently was the girls basketball coach at Sacred Heart, but his contract (and that of athletics director brother Brock Harrell) wasn’t renewed for the coming year as the Class 1A private school suspended varsity athletics as part of a restructuring of curriculum.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity,” Harrell said. “They’ve got some young kids and there’s a lot of opportunity to develop a lot of kids.
“I’m just excited to continue coaching. I feel this is what God created me to do and I think it’s a really good opportunity. It makes me feel good that I can wake up and continue living out my purpose.”
Harrell had some other opportunities in the wake of the Sacred Heart purge, but the Ranburne job “worked out perfectly.” Among the plusses, he can stay close to family in Calhoun County and continue his involvement with his church.
The former Jacksonville State golfer has produced winning programs every stop of his coaching career with an approach predicated on hard work. He won two state championships with the White Plains girls golf team, had a state runner-up finish with the White Plains boys golf team and took the Sacred Heart girls basketball team to unparalleled success and the regional semifinals each of the last two years.
“My whole thing is the first day I meet with the players I promise them I’ll give them everything I’ve got a I just need for them to give it in return,” Harrell said. “It’s easier to buy in when you’ve seen success happen before.
“Hard work works no matter what you’re doing. God honors hard work. It doesn’t matter if I’m coaching boys, girls or it’s me competing in the past, I’m going to try to outwork my opponent and as long as I can line up and feel we’ve outworked the team we’re playing, let the chips fall where they may.”
Boys basketball isn’t a totally new experience for him. He coached the Sacred Heart junior varsity boys his first year at the school.

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