|New Lonoke Jackrabbits football coach Harry Wright visits with his new team following an initial meeting on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
LONOKE — Harry Wright, the defensive coordinator at Bentonville West High School, is the new Lonoke Jackrabbits head football coach.
Wright, 34, was hired by the Lonoke School Board during its regular meeting Monday night. He replaces Taggart Moore, who resigned to enter into private business.
Wright has been at Bentonville West for four seasons, following coach Bryan Pratt from McAlester, Okla., to Bentonville when Bentonville High School split into two schools.
“My family and I are excited to be here,” Wright said.
Wright is a graduate of Eufala High School in Oklahoma. He played four years of football at Bacone College, earning All-American Honors twice.
Wright coached at several Oklahoma schools before making his way to Bentonville.
But Lonoke reminds him of Eufala, his hometown.
“This is opportunity came open, it reminds me a lot of where I went to high school,” Wright said. “I graduated from a 3A Oklahoma school. So it’s similar.
“I have a 6-year-old son and I wanted him to grow up in the same environment that I grew up in. Football was a huge deal. The town shut down where I went to high school. I feel like Lonoke can be that type of situation and opportunity. It really enticed me for him to grow up in that type on environment, along with the tradition of success and athletes that they’ve had here.”
Wright said everyone he’s talked to about the Lonoke job said it was a good opportunity.
“This is a place where you can be successful at and the kids are going to work hard and take pride in it,” he said.
Wright and his wife Lauren have one son, Evan.
“It’s always been my dream when I got into coaching to be a head football coach,” Wright said. “I’ve kind of tried to set myself up throughout my career to learn from the best. I’ve worked for some really good head coaches. My head coach in high school, Kerry Roberts, was one of my mentors. I worked for him for three years.”
The Jackrabbits finished the 2018 season 6-6. They beat Prairie Grove in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. They lost to Ozark in the second round.
Lonoke opens the 2019 season Aug. 30 at Carlisle.