HPCA selects Bell to lead football program
Scott Bell has a passion for football and for mentoring young people. So, the goal of becoming a varsity head coach has always been a long-term one. But when the opportunity arose for him to become head coach at High Point Christian, he jumped at it.
“It’s something my family’s asked about,” he said over the weekend. “I have a deep passion for coaching football, and I love working with the team and mentoring kids. It is something that I wanted to do down the road, but did I think it’d happen this soon? No.
“But sometimes you can’t pick your opportunity. I got a lot of support from the coaches and parents at High Point Christian, saying this is right up my alley, and the school wanted to keep it in-house. We have a good group returning. So, I’m looking forward to it.”
Bell takes over for head coach Steve Lechner, who stepped down after overseeing the first six years of the program, has been an assistant for the varsity and junior varsity team, coaching both side of the ball wherever Lechner needed him, over the last five years.
“We’re excited to have him,” said athletic director Corey Gesell, also mentioning the search began with the current staff. “He’s been a part of the program for the last five years, and he’s done a great job communicating and relating to the kids and parents.
“He knows a variety of offenses that will fit well with us and our personnel. And he’s hardworking and dedicated – just a successful kind of guy. … His energy and passion is what made him stand out. He’s coached for many years in the Ragsdale YMCA league and he’s tied into the community. So, we felt like that was an added bonus.”
In addition to his experience at HPCA, which went 4-7 this year, despite several key injuries, and made the NCISAA 11-man Division II playoffs for the second straight year, Bell has also coached a variety of sports at a variety of levels – including the Carolina Phoenix, who won the Independent Women’s Football League championship over the summer.
And his football background goes back even further. Growing up in Pennsylvania, he played cornerback and slotback as well as quarterback and was good enough to be selected to playing the Big 33 Football Classic, which has featured a number of football greats.
He intended to play football at Guilford College back when it was NAIA. But after he suffered a broken nose during his freshman year, he took on a job, earned an academic scholarship and eventually playing football fell by the wayside.
But after graduating, Bell, who now is self-employed and works in real estate, got involved in coaching everything from his son’s baseball teams and his daughters’ softball teams to women’s tackle football and now varsity football as head coach.
“There’s a lot going on as far as energy and excitement about the program,” Bell said. “Our immediate goal is to have a winning program with kids who have high character and morals and who walk with God. All the pieces are in place to be successful.”
Although the Cougars next season will be without close to a dozen seniors from this year’s team, Bell said his two main goals from the outset are to work to get more kids involved in the program and then work to make them come together as a cohesive unit.
With those at the forefront, Bell says, the expectations of continuing to build the program will remain high.
“I’ve told some of our players and parents this: The train’s loading up, so you’d better get onboard because we’re not stopping until we get there,” he said. “We will have a relentless pursuit of success.”