New Harding Football Coach Announced

Marion Harding High School is pleased to announce that  Harding alumnus Jerrod Slater will be the next coach of Harding’s  football team.  

Harding athletic director Sean Kearns announced  Friday that Slater, a 2005 Harding graduate, will succeed John Brady who  announced in December that he is retiring as head coach.  

“We  have been able to view first-hand the rapport and relationships that  Coach Slater has been able to establish in his tenure here as an  assistant coach,” Kearns said. “Coach Slater has also been able to  impress upon us his outstanding vision and plan for the future of the  Marion Harding football program, and we are excited to begin this next  chapter in Presidents football.” 

All coaching positions are  subject to approval by the Marion City Schools Board of Education. The  board is expected to vote on Slater’s contract in February. 

Slater  has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Harding where  he has served as defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator. He has  been a part of a coaching staff that has seen the team improve from  0-10 in 2014, to 4-6 in 2015, to 6-4 this past season. 

Slater has  been part of the coaching staff since 2014 and has worked as Marion  City Schools’ diversity and equity coordinator since 2016. 

He  finished his playing career at Urbana University and spent the 2010  season at Urbana as a graduate assistant. He then came back to Marion  County as an assistant at Pleasant High School from 2011 to 2013,  serving in the roles of head freshman coach, outside linebackers coach,  and eventually assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. 

“This  is absolutely a dream come true,” Slater said. “As a graduate of  Harding, this program, this school and this community have meant  everything to me. When I set out to become a football coach in 2009, the  end goal was always to become the head coach here at Harding High  School.” 

He said his love and passion for Harding football dates back to elementary school. 

“To  now be in this position seems surreal but I am ready and eager to get  to work,” he said. “I am extremely blessed and I can’t thank the  district enough for believing in me.” 

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