by Joshua Booth
NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Terry Harrison, Wichita, has been named head coach of the Bethel College Threshers football program.
Bethel Athletic Director Tony Hoops announced the hire Dec. 18, following the resignation of Morris Lolar Nov. 21.
“We are extremely excited to name Terry Harrison the next head football coach,” Hoops said. “Terry comes from one of the top high school football programs in all of the state of Kansas, at Wichita Heights.
“He’s proven himself to be very successful coaching at a high level and we look forward to seeing him bring the same high standards of excellence to Bethel. Coach Harrison is simply a winner, and we are very fortunate to have him here at Bethel.”
Harrison comes to Bethel from Wichita Heights High School, where he has been Falcons head coach since November 2012. In five seasons with the team, Harrison has compiled an overall record of 38-16, winning four Kansas 5A regional championships, a district championship and a Greater-Area Wichita-League championship along the way.
Before becoming head coach at Wichita Heights, Harrison spent a season as an assistant with the Falcons football program, learning under the noted coach Rick Wheeler.
Harrison was named 2016 City-League Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 9-2 record.
“Terry brings so many different attributes to this position,” Hoops continued. “As a Sterling College graduate, he knows and understands what it takes to be successful within the KCAC.
“The staff that he already has hired is outstanding and ready to get to work immediately. They know and understand the KCAC recruiting landscape. He’s a tremendous leader in so many different ways, which will impact this football program in all areas for many years to come.”
“I would like to thank Tony Hoops and the entire Bethel College community for this opportunity,” said Harrison. “I am excited for the future of Thresher football, and the common goals that we all have for the program moving forward.”
Since the departure of Coach Lolar, the football program has been under the guidance of James McCartney, who took on the role of interim head coach after spending last two seasons as defensive line coach.
“I want to also thank James McCartney for serving as the interim head coach during this time of transition,” Hoops said. “He did an outstanding job in providing leadership for this program.”
“I am a product of this conference and humbled by the opportunity to lead this program,” Harrison said. “The most exciting part of this process was the opportunity to meet several current players. I look forward to getting to work with them and build something that they can be proud of here at Bethel College.”
From 2006-12, Harrison was an assistant coach for the Valley Center Hornets football team. He began as the offensive line coach (2006-09), and then was promoted to defensive coordinator for 2010-12.
Harrison is a 2004 graduate of Sterling College with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and health. He served as a team captain for the Warriors football program for three years.
After his senior season at Sterling, Harrison spent the next year as a graduate assistant, serving as offensive line coach.
Joining Harrison on his staff at Bethel are Paul Kempf and A.B. Stokes. Kempf has been an assistant under Harrison for the last four years, and was on staff with Sterling College the two seasons prior. Stokes has spent the last six seasons as head coach at Larned High School.
“I would not have taken this job without the ability to hire assistant coaches who are men of integrity,” Harrison said. “I am excited to announce that Paul Kempf will be joining me as defensive coordinator and A.B. Stokes will be joining my staff as offensive coordinator. Both of these men are products of the KCAC and will be excellent representatives of Bethel College.”
Harrison also brings with him the experience of coordinating and organizing the Wichita Area Recruiting Fair, a yearly event for collegiate scouts and coaches to meet with football players in the Wichita metro area. He has been a guest speaker at multiple coaching clinics on a national level, most recently the Tulsa Glazier Mega Clinic in 2016.
“Our priority will not only be to put a product on the field that the Bethel College community can be proud of,” Harrison said, “but most importantly, produce young men that represent the core values of Bethel College and use football as a vehicle to earn a degree.”
Harrison earned his M.S. in school leadership from Baker University in 2011.
Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.
In sports, Bethel competes within the 12-school Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. For more information, see www.bethelthreshers.com.
Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to TitleIXCoordinator@bethelks.edu.