Harrell began his head-coaching career at Reagan County, where he posted a 36-8 mark with three bi-district championships in four years before arriving in Ennis in 1994. In 1999 Harrell became one the first coaches in Texas to use a no-huddle spread offense. The Lions’ “gun offense” worked out of the shotgun formation and was also one of the first teams in the state to have its offensive players wear wristbands with numbered plays that were called in from the sideline. In 16 years with the Lions, Harrell’s teams had a 146-46 record with 13 straight years of playoff appearances (1994-2009) and Class 4A state championships in 2000, 2001 and 2004. His career record stands at 189-59. He was named Coach of the Year by Reebok (1999), the Texas Sport Writers Association (2000-01) and the Dallas Cowboys (2000). Harrell has served on the THSCA’s board of directors and as its president (2009-10), and was named to the organization’s Hall of Honor in 2012. He was also selected to coach the 2002 THSCA All-Star Game and that same year was inducted into the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions. Harrell played and coached under Wood at Brownwood, and also served on the staff of fellow Hall of Famer Greg Sherwood at Plainview before moving to Reagan County.