Henry Harris joins Cathedral coaching staff

Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2007

With the departure of long-time Cathedral head coach Ken Beesley and the ascension of his son, Craig, to head coach, there was one open spot to fill on the Green Wave coaching staff.

That spot was filled this week.

Henry Harris, who coached at Cathedral in the mid-1980s, was named the Green Wave’s defensive coordinator. He has been out of coaching since that time, serving on the Natchez Parks and Recreation Board and in tennis capacities in Jackson and Dallas.

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“(Football is) really my heart,” Harris said. “I played football when I was in school in Natchez, but I was really too little to go to any college. I played tennis in college, but that ball don’t hit back. When I got the opportunity to work with Craig, and in the 80s I coached Craig, I couldn’t pass that up.”

Craig Beesley said Harris’s football mind would be needed as the Green Wave begins a new era next season, but he also brought him back into the fold for a bigger reason.

“Most importantly, he’s a good person and a good role model for our kids,” Beesley said. “We’re looking for a good coach and a good role model, too. We’re losing a great role model in Coach (Ken) Beesley, and we felt like he could help us in coaching as well as giving the kids someone to look up to.”

As Harris prepares to take over the Green Wave defense, he said he doesn’t expect wholesale changes to the philosophy.

“We’ll probably do some of the same stuff,” he said. “We’ll have to change it a little bit, but not too much. It all depends on the athletes we’re going to have there to work with us.”

Beesley said he wasn’t looking for too many changes overall to the football program.

“We’re going to try and open it up on offense still … throw the ball a lot,” Beesley said. “The things that have hurt us (in recent years) is people taking advantage of our lack of size and running the ball right at us. Coach Harris is going to come in and help us on the defensive end.”