Fort Worth Christian has hired Sam Harrell, a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor, as its new offensive coordinator.Harrell, 58, won three UIL state championships in 16 seasons at Ennis, but retired in 2009 due to complications from multiple sclerosis.Harrell called his road back to coaching “unbelievable.” In 2010, he traveled to Panama for stem cell therapy. The results were minimal, the same for his second trip in June 2011. But Harrell figured he’d try one more time, later that year in September. The progress then was evident. Soon he grew more active, eventually being able to ride a bike again. After a fourth trip to Panama in last May, Harrell felt he was ready to coach again. “I’m just doing things I’d never dream I’d do again,” Harrell said. “I thought [his coaching career] was over. I really did. I’m like the kid in a candy store.”Fort Worth Christian coach Scott Smiley said he met with Harrell earlier this spring to discuss a potential role for Harrell within the program. Shortly after that, the offensive coordinator job opened and Harrell was hired. Harrell led the Lions to the Class 4A Division I title in 2004 and the 4A Division II titles in 2000 and 2001. Fort Worth Christian competes in TAPPS Division II. Harrell’s son, Graham Harrell, finished his high school career at Ennis as the state’s all-time and single-season leader in passing touchdowns before playing at Texas Tech, where he was a Heisman finalist. Graham Harrell, a former NFL quarterback who led his father’s 2001 title team, was recently hired by former Texas Tech coach, Mike Leach, at Washington State as an offensive analyst.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST