Western Harnett athletic director Russell Taylor has coached a number of sports at the school, but this fall he’ll don a new role: head football coach.
Taylor, who has been the AD since 2008, hasn’t coached football since 2002 when he was defensive coordinator at Fuquay-Varina under Phil Howard. But the 66-year-old, known throughout the area for years with his involvement in youth sports, has a wealth of coaching experience in other sports.
He’s been a head coach in baseball, boys basketball and finished out last year as the girls basketball coach.
Already, he said, he’s got the team’s workout schedule set for the next year.
“We’ve already made headway in getting everything in line,” Taylor said. “We’ve got our athletes in the weight room, we’ve already got an offense we’re going to install in our spring practice on May 15, and we’ve already got a summer plan.”
Taylor replaces Jason Furrie, who was fired after two seasons as the Eagles’ coach. Western Harnett is moving into a new conference next fall with local rivals Union Pines, Lee County, Southern Lee, Harnett Central and Triton. Only Triton and Lee County will have the same head coaches as last year.
Union Pines is expected to name its new coach soon, Harnett Central has just started interviews and Southern Lee will start later this month.
The Eagles have not had a winning season since 2005 and were 4-17 over the last two seasons.
“We have some pretty good athletes here,” Taylor said. “It’s all about us as coaches being positive with the kids, but also making sure they know their role on the field.”