Harris resigns as FHS football coach

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 1999

When Jack Harris took over as the head football coach of the Fairland Dragons in 1993, he implemented a wide-open offense that was heavy on the passing game.

Tuesday, November 09, 1999

When Jack Harris took over as the head football coach of the Fairland Dragons in 1993, he implemented a wide-open offense that was heavy on the passing game.

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Monday night at the Fairland Board of Education meeting, Harris submitted his resignation as the coach to devote fulltime attention to coaching the girls basketball program.

"I had fun. We gave some coaches some sleepless nights," said Harris. "One thing I can describe my football career would be with an old Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) song, ‘I did it my way.’ I have no regrets about what we did. We might have opened things up in the league and taught people to play pass defense."

Harris coached the Dragons for just six seasons, but compiled a 40-20 record during that short span. His teams won two Ohio Valley Conference championships and earned the school’s only Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason football playoff berth in his first year when he introduced the league to his high-powered passing attack.

"In 1992 this was still primarily a running league. Now you look and see what teams are doing like Chesapeake who’s throwing the ball all over the field," said Harris. "It was exciting for the kids, the coaches, and the fans. I feel we were very successful."

The Dragons were 2-7 this past season, the only losing season during Harris’ tenure. However, Harris indicated prior to the season that this would be his final year.

"I never got in it to coach football the rest of my life. I wasn’t seeking the job, I was asked to coach," said Harris. "The board made it easy for me, coach (Roger) Snyder gave me a tremendous amount of help, and I got a lot of help from the coaches and people around me."

Harris will now turn all his attention toward his first love: basketball.

Harris coached boys basketball for 18 seasons and posted a 225-165 record with five OVC championships and two regional appearances. He coached the girls team for two seasons and won two league titles. He will again coach the girls team this season.

His two daughters, Ashley, a junior, and Holley, a freshman, will be on the girls’ varsity and junior varsity rosters.

"It’s just time. I’ve got two girls in high school and I wasn’t able to devote time for them. It was my time to get out," said Harris. "With the kids coming back next year, they’ll be prepared to do better."

Harris isn’t sure who the heir apparent will be, but he would like to see the board hire assistant coach Bryan Ward who served as the interim head coach last season during Harris’ one-year hiatus from coaching.

"Bryan has done a heck of a job for me through the years and I love him like a brother. I’m hoping they give him the job," said Harris.

Harris was off the job last season when the Fairland Board of Education suspended him as the team’s coach after reports of alleged improper activity.

The board suspended him from teaching, but shortly thereafter reinstated him as a teacher and told him he would be allowed to reapply for his coaching jobs when the investigation failed to unveil any conclusive evidence.