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Larry Harold hired as new Head Football Coach at Americus-Sumter

AMERICUS – The Panthers have hired a new Head Football Coach. He’s Larry Harold. Harold was formally introduced as the new Head Football Coach of the Panthers at the Sumter County Board of Education meeting Thursday Night, March 7. Harold replaces Erik Soliday, who guided the Panthers to a Class AA State Championship in 2000, and led the Panthers to a Region 1-AAAA Championship in 2017.

Coach Harold told the crowd assembled that he was happy to be at Americus-Sumter and couldn’t wait to get started. He also stated that he plans to impress upon the team the fact that when they put on the blue ASH helmets, they are role models and that the younger kids are looking up to them and are watching them to see how they conduct themselves on and off the field. Harold also told those assembled that while he and his coaching staff will provide a lot of love to the players, they would be hard on them and push them as far they can go.

According to Americus-Sumter Athletic Director Coleman Price, 27 candidates went through the first round of interviews. They were able to narrow it down to six and eventually to one. That one was Larry Harold.

“Coach Soliday did a great job coming in here. I talked to him before I even applied,” Coach Harold said. “He told me he got it back in the right standing and just won a region championship. We just want to come in and take off where he left off and win another region championship and go on and build it up to where we can win a state championship. This community is so hungry for a championship, but we want to do it the right way. We want our young men to be models and citizens in this community. We want them to work hard in the class room, in the weight room and on the practice field, and we feel that Friday nights will take care of itself. I’m hungry. I’m a big believer in discipline and in structure. Then we’ll have fun on Friday nights.”

New Americus-Sumter Head Football Coach Larry Harold speaks to the assembled crowd at the Sumter County Board of Education Meeting Thursday Night, March 7.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Coach Harold went on to say that the Americus community was what he and his family needed, and that he is what the Americus community needed. Harold was the head football coach at Central High School in Macon during the 2017 season, but saw the Americus-Sumter job as something he couldn’t ignore. “I normally wouldn’t leave so soon after a year, but Americus is a top-five job in Georgia,” Harold said. “This was an opportunity I could not pass up.”

Before he went to Central in Macon, Harold was the Head Football Coach at Brunswick High school in Brunswick, GA during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Before his two-year stint at Brunswick, he was the Head Football Coach at Macon County High School in Montezuma, GA, where he had the opportunity to coach current University of Georgia All-American Linebacker Roquan Smith. Harold was at Macon County from April 2012 to January 2015, and was named the Region 4-AA Coach of the Year in 2014. During the 2014 season under Harold’s guidance, Macon County went 9-3 overall and 5-0 in the region, winning the region championship.

Before his time at Macon County, Harold was the Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach at Riverdale High School in Riverdale, GA from April 2011 to March of 2012. Harold also served as the Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach at Campbell High School in Smyrna, GA during the 2010 season. Harold has also had assistant coaching jobs in Louisiana. He was an Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach at Scotlandville High School in Baton Rouge, LA from 2007-09, and he was an Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Quarterback Coach and Offensive Line Coach at Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge from 2002-2006.

During his coaching career, Harold has had the privilege to coach some football players who signed college scholarships. Harold coached 2017 Army All-American D’Ante Demery, a UGA Commit. From 2015-2017, eight student-athletes signed athletic scholarships under Harold’s watch. From 2012-2015, Macon County had 12 student-athletes sign athletic scholarships while Harold was at the helm for the Bulldogs. One of those student-athletes included UGA All-American Linebacker Roquan Smith, whom many football experts believe will be a top-10 draft pick in the NFL.

In five years as a Head Football Coach, Harold has coached 23 student-athletes who signed athletic scholarships to various colleges and universities.

Harold has also coached some other players who made it to the NFL, including Running Back Brandon Bolden of the New England Patriots, Offensive Lineman Dallas Thomas of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Defensive Back Devin Holland of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Harold also coached a player who ended up being CFL Rookie of the Year in 2010: Running Back Daniel Porter.

As a player, Harold played his college ball at Southern University from 1997-2001. While he was there, Southern won the Black College National Championship in 1997. The Jaguars won three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999. The 1999 team was voted the SWAC Collegiate Football Team of the Decade. In 2000, Harold started for the Jaguars at Right Tackle. During the 2000 season, Southern had the highest scoring offense in Division I-AA (now called FCS). The Jaguars’ offense averaged 40.1 points a game. During the 2001 season, Harold was voted as SWAC Lineman of the Week.

Harold graduated from Southern University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education and earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Administration and Supervision. Harold is married to his wife Danielle and they have five children: Larry Harold III, Le’Myah, Levi and Liam.