Longtime Ennis Coach Has MS

Sam Harrell has MS, will still coach

Longtime Ennis head football coach Sam Harrell has come out and revealed that he has multiple sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with four years ago, The Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday.

From Brandon George's story: "MS is a condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other. Life expectancy of MS patients is nearly the same as those unaffected."

Harrell says he will continue to coach and might just have to adjust his methods at times, for instance, he might have to use a golf cart during hot days like he began doing recently.

The 53-year-old coach is 148-46 in 15 seasons at Ennis, has 13 straight playoff appearances and won three state championships in 2000, 2001 and 2004 with the help of his son, Graham Harrell, the former Texas Tech gunslinger who set NCAA passing records after throwing 65 touchdowns during his junior season at Ennis, still a Texas High School Football record.

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This past season, Ennis went 9-1 in the regular season before bowing out of the playoffs in the third round to Rockwall-Heath with a 17-14 loss. Aside from Graham, Coach Harrell has two other sons involved in Texas football, with Zac Harrell at Prosper as an assistant coach and the youngest son, Clark, a quarterback at Abilene Christian.

Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/award-winning blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. That was a really fast trifecta. RIP.

"Heat is really a big factor in it. When you get hot, your mobility and coordination decreases, and most days I'm going to get up and get hot," Harrell told the Morning News. "It has continued to get worse, and I thought it was time to disclose it and make sure people understood why I couldn't do some things that you should be able to do, like get outside and show them how to run routes. But coaching isn't about demonstrating, it's about teaching, so I just don't worry about demonstrating."

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