Head Coach Clark Harrell (File Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
Veteran coach Clark Harrell will move from New Kent to coach the Class 6 Bears
by Andy Hilton, recruitNoVA
Clark Harrell has had a storied coaching career with experience at a variety of levels of high school football.
2018 will bring a new challenge for Harrell as he’ll take on the head coaching job at Riverbend High School in Fredricksburg.
After six seasons as a head coach in the Bay Rivers District, including three years at Smithfield and three years at New Kent, Clark Harrell is headed north.
Harrell’s first exposure to Riverbend was for the school’s 7-on-7 tournament in the summer of 2017.
“We came to compete in the 7-on-7 and I liked what I saw,” said Harrell. “I was shocked when the job came open.”
His connection to Riverbend starts with Athletic Director Tim Stimmell. Stimmell and Harrell coached against each other back in the 1990’s when Harrell coached at Gates County (NC) High School and Stimmell coached at Manteo.
The Spotsylvania County School Board approved Harrell’s hiring on Monday night. Tony DeMarco resigned as head coach after the 2017 season. DeMarco served six seasons, leading his teams to a win-loss record of 33-34 in that span.
Harrell has notched 225 career coaching wins. At Smithfield in 2012, Harrell led the Packers to a 10-2 record. They split the Bay Rivers District title with Lafayette that year and were within reach of the Division 4 State Championship game, losing to Courtland by a score of 18-15. Courtland went on to lose to Briar Woods in the State Semifinal and Briar Woods trounced Heritage (Lynchburg) in the championship game that year.
At New Kent, Harrell’s teams went 10-20 over three seasons, but developed and saw success in the past two years, finishing 4-6 each season, narrowly missing the playoffs.
“We certainly became more competitive. This past year, we had a 30-28 loss to Warhill (in the season finale) that would have put us in the playoffs. Last year, we lost to Poquoson 16-14 and Grafton 7-6. If we had won either one of those games, we would have been in the playoffs,” said the coach. “We were knocking on the door.”
Prior to Harrell’s arrival, the New Kent Trojans had won 17 games in the previous ten seasons.
As for Riverbend, Harrell sees a bright future.
“It’s a tough district with a lot of good teams, but there’s a lot of potential at Riverbend. I’m impressed with the talent that’s there.”
Harrell is scheduled to meet with the administration on Thursday. He’ll then be introduced to the current coaching staff, the players and the parents.
Coach Harrell will finish out the school year in New Kent, and officially arrive as the head coach at Riverbend on July 1.
“I’ll travel a lot to install our offense and defense. We’ll get our spring workouts going and be ready for 7-on-7.”
Coach Clark Harrell has a busy spring ahead.
– Andy Hilton