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Harrelson Steps Down After 12 Seasons As Gravette Coach

GRAVETTE (KFSM) – A lot has changed in small school football over the past 12 seasons and Bill Harrelson was right in the middle of it as the head coach at Gravette.

The veteran coach helped Gravette establish itself as one of the toughest schools to play but now he is making the next move in his career as he has stepped down as the Lions coach.

“I just need to take a step back,” Harrelson said. “Have a chance to go back to Ramay (Junior High in Fayetteville) and be the head coach there and I’m old is the bottom line. It’s an opportunity for me to do what I need to do.”

Harrelson went 82-54 in his 12 seasons at Gravette, including five seasons of nine wins or more, while he led the Lions to the playoffs in each of the past 11 years. Harrelson has a career record of 107-86.

“It was unbelievable,” Harrelson said of his time at Gravette. “It couldn’t have been better. The kids have been awesome and the community and administration couldn’t have treated me any better. It’s a hard decision. We had a lot of success here because of others. The assistant coaches, the administration and the players mostly. Any failure we had was totally my fault.”

Harrelson saw his conference (now the 4A-1) go from a one team show as Shiloh Christian dominated to what he called the best conference in the state.

“Our conference has gotten a lot stronger overall,” Harrelson said. “They can say what they want down south but this is the premiere conference (in 4A) in the state. Look at who has played in the state finals over the past few years. The level and strength has gone way up in the 12 years I’ve been here. It used to be Shiloh and everybody else when I got here but we stepped up and Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove have always been tough and they’ve really stepped up the past few years.”