God, Family, Football: The Story of J.O. Johnson's Harold Wells as Coach & Minister

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Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 12:56 am

HUNTSVILLE (WAAY) - Some people in the great state of Alabama believe that good Alabama men believe in the three things: God, family and football - all in that order.

J.O. Johnson Head Coach Harold Wells would be considered by many as a good Alabama man. Many people know about what he does on the football field. He's been the long-time Jaguars Head Coach since 1992. He lead the team to back-to-back 11-2 records. 

Many people call him many great things as far as a Head Coach is concerned.

"He's a strong man. He teaches a lot of lessons," says Jaguars Senior Middle Linebacker Mikus Peoples. 

"He knows every part of the game," says Senior Running Back Dominique McNealey.

"He means the world to me honestly," says Junior Quarterback and Cornerback Desmond Johnson.

"He's one of the best coaches I've ever had and probably will have," Johnson finishes.

But, his legacy reaches farther than football. Coach Wells on Friday Night becomes Minister Wells on Sunday Morning at Newcomb Street Church of Christ in Decatur.

"This is probably the most rewarding aspect of my life as when I'm spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ," says Coach Wells.

Harold says that he's been a part of that ministry for 17 years or so.

"Those who are seeking, but just don't know where to turn. That's the great part about being a minister in Christ's army," says Wells.

Wells says he lives his life in the image of his Lord and Savior. He also teaches the young men on his team how to be good Christian men on and off the field. Many of the players come from single family parent households where there are no men in the house.

Players on the team say he's a father-figure.

"He's a father figure to all of us," says Senior Running Back Dominique McNealey. 

"It's more than football to him. He teaches us about life. He wants us to grow up to be good successful men, not just football players."

"You're gonna get that look (when you mess up)," says Johnson.

"Wherever you are. In the hallway, in the streets, you're gonna get that look. And, it's not gonna be for a short amount of time."

Offensive Line Coach Anthony Thompson met Coach Wells when he was 15 years old. He played for him at Johnson before moving on to play his college ball at Alabama A&M. Thompson says Coach Wells means the world to him.

"Coach Wells is parallel with my father. I'll say that because he's had a big impact in my growth as a young man. And, he showed me a lot about being a Christian," says Thompson.

Anthony also added that he was a bit arrogant when he was younger, but Coach Wells humbled him and for that he's grateful. Thompson says that he would always be on his staff; the only way he would leave is if it's a head coaching position of his own. He would only leave with the coach's blessing.

"We believe that the state championship will come. But, if not, even if not in my tenure here, we don't get it, you know, I'm gonna leave this place and never regret a moment of anything that I've done here," finishes Coach Wells.

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