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Kerwin Bell ⋆ Head Coach ⋆ Western Carolina

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by thatguy, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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    Sources tell FootballScoop that Kerwin Bell, former University of Florida star quarterback who’s coached at both the high school and collegiate levels, as well as the Canadian Football League, for the past three decades, is Western’s target and an agreement is expected to be reached for Bell to become the Catamounts’ coach.

    Western Carolina little more than two weeks ago fired veteran coach Mark Speir after nine seasons at the helm of the Cullowhee, North Carolina, program that competes at the Football Championship Level in the Southern Conference.

    Bell’s greatest success as a coach came in 2018 at NCAA Division II power Valdosta State. There, Bell guided the program to a 14-0 season and the D-II national title while obliterating school and Gulf South Conference scoring records with an action-packed, high-powered offense.

    Bell will be charged with reviving a Catamounts program that generated three winning seasons in four years from 2014-17 but has since lost 25 games in three seasons – including a 1-9 2021 spring campaign that resulted in Speir’s dismissal.

    Sources: Western Carolina's search zeroing in on former Florida Gators great

    Report: Western Carolina closing in on hiring ex-Florida great Kerwin Bell as head coach
     
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  2. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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    Fresh from leading Valdosta State to the 2018 NCAA Division II championship with the nation’s No. 1 ranked scoring offense in the division (52.0 ppg), Bell joined USF Head Coach Charlie Strong’s staff more than 30 years after the pair first were part of the same program during the 1983-84 seasons at Florida.

    Bell was the 1984 SEC Player of the Year and played four seasons at Florida (1984-87). He had 12 seasons as a successful head coach leading programs at Valdosta State (2016-18) and Jacksonville University (2007-15) and a 14-year playing career in professional football, which included stops with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1989) and Miami Dolphins (1988).

    Bell, a native of Mayo, Fla., earned the Gators’ starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman in 1984 and went on to earn SEC Player of the Year honors after leading the Gators to a 9-1-1 record, SEC championship and top five national ranking.

    Prior to coming to USF, Bell served three seasons as the head coach at Valdosta State (2016-18) where he guided the offense and led the Blazers to a 27-7 record, a school-record 15 straight victories, two Division II playoff appearances and conference and national championships in 2018. He was named the 2018 Don Hansen NCAA Division II Co-Coach of the Year and the Gulf South Conference Co-Coach of the Year after leading VSU to a 14-0 record (the first unbeaten season in program history) and a 49-47 victory over Ferris State in the Division II National Championship game, the program’s first title since 2012. Picked fifth in their conference in the preseason and the No. 3 seed entering the playoffs, the Blazers finished No. 1 in the final AFCA Division II poll.
     
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  3. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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    Bell’s 2018 Valdosta State offense led the nation in scoring (52.0 ppg), ranked second in first downs (341) and was fourth in total offense (523.9 ypg), red-zone offense (.901) and pass efficiency (167.37). The Blazers scored 728 points on the year, the most in NCAA Division II history, as they posted 7,334 yards (3,676 rushing/3,658 passing) and 7.9 yards per play on the year. Sophomore quarterback Rogan Wells finished as the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy, presented to the Division II Player of the Year, and was named both the Region Two and Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Wells accounted for 50 touchdowns on the year (including one receiving), led the nation in points responsible for (300), was second in passing touchdowns (38) and points responsible for per game (21.4 ppg), 10th in passing yards (3,075), 12th in passing efficiency (160.6) and 25th in total offense (271.9 ypg). He finished second on the team with 732 yards rushing and led the team with 11 rushing touchdowns. Senior offensive linemen Jeremy King was the runner-up for the Gene Upshaw Award presented to the most outstanding Division II lineman.

    Bell led VSU to runner-up conference finishes in his first two years guiding the program and went 8-3 with a playoff appearance in his first season at the helm in 2016 as the Blazers led the nation with 27 interceptions.

    Prior to VSU, Bell led Jacksonville University for nine seasons, guiding the Football Championship Series program to a 66-35 record and three Pioneer Football League championships. Also serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Bell was named the 2008 PFL Coach of the Year and an Eddie Robinson Award finalist after leading the Dolphins to a 9-4 record and conference title. He also led Jacksonville to a school-best 10-1 record and conference title in 2010 as the Dolphins led the nation in total (486 ypg) and scoring (42.2 ppg) offense. They also posted a 9-2 mark and conference title in 2014.

    Prior to taking over the Jacksonville program, Bell led Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, Fla, for six seasons (2001-06), earning a Florida 2B state title in 2005 and runner-up finish in 2006. His coaching career began in earnest at the end of his professional playing career as he served as the offensive coordinator for two seasons while still a player for the Toronto Argonauts (2000-01).
     
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  4. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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    Bell was selected in the seventh round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, beginning a 14-year professional career that saw stops with the NFL teams in Miami, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis as well as stops in the Canadian Football League (where he passed for 19,538 yards and 101 touchdowns in nine seasons) and the World League of American Football.

    Bell earned a degree in psychology from the University of Florida in 1987. After beginning his career at UF as a walk-on, he was inducted into the University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997 following a four-year career (1984-87) that saw him pass for 7,585 yards and 56 touchdowns. He was ranked the No. 26 greatest Gator of all-time from the first 100 years of UF football in 2006 by The Gainesville Sun. Bell was named the 1984 SEC Player of the Year after leading UF to a 9-1-1 record, SEC championship and top five national ranking. He was a first team All-SEC selection in 1985 after again leading the Gators to a 9-1-1 record and the program’s first-ever No. 1 national ranking in the AP poll. He was an honorable mention All-America selection in 1985 and 1986, was a 1987 team captain and earned the program’s Fergie Ferguson Award. He later served as graduate assistant for one season (1990) under Steve Spurrier at Florida.

    Bell and his wife, Cosette, have three children: Kade, Kolton and Kenzley.
     
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  5. sqgator

    sqgator GC Legend

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    My first “live” Gators Football game was watching Kelvin Bell played QB at The Swamp, one gutsy player.
     
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  6. adamgator96

    adamgator96 Premium Member

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    Great for Kerwin! He’ll love Cullowhee. It’s such a beautiful area. I spent two summers there at camp on WCU’s campus in ‘81 and ‘82.

    I wonder if my initials are still on the Time Pilot near campus.

    IMG_0197.jpg
     
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  7. g8orbill

    g8orbill Old Gator Moderator VIP Member

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    beautiful area and seems to fit Kerwin's personality
     
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  8. garettk

    garettk GC Hall of Fame

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    Excellent opportunity. As much as I hate to say it, the clock is ticking for him if he wants a seat at the big table. His son Kade may be the one to keep your eyes on. With him not playing professionally, he started his climb much younger.
     
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  9. KronoGator

    KronoGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Nice place to land after things went sour at USF, he could do really really well there.
     
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  10. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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    Kerwin and Kade will do well there I'm sure. Coach Bell has always had success as a head coach. Kerwin has always run a clean program and stood strong in his Christian Faith.
    I'll never forget Bell to Nattiel for that beautiful 90+ yard touchdown against Georgia in '84.
    PS
    Kerwin's NFL passing record will never be surpassed!
    In his only NFL regular season appearance, Bell completed 5-of-5 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in the Indianapolis Colts’ 37-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996.
    Love me some Kerwin Bell!
     
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  11. UF24ou14

    UF24ou14 GC Hall of Fame

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    I can see him having success there then moving on to a school like East Carolina in 3 or 4 years.
     
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  12. GratorGator

    GratorGator GC Legend

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    Good for Kerwin Bell! So it's been a long time since I watched highlights of that Auburn game. I was there in person by the way. So I watched the highlight reel today and boy did Kerwin throw a poor football. So many ducks in that game. You don't think about that because he lead us to a glorious victory. It's funny how that works. Good luck Kerwin and this new job and Go Gators!
     
  13. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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  14. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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    Cullowhee, N.C.
    Kerwin Bell has been named the 14th head football coach at Western Carolina University, Director of Athletics Alex Gary announced. His contract was approved by the WCU Board of Trustees during a special session on Tuesday evening.

    Bell was an accomplished player who worked his way from walk-on to All-American to the National Football League. He won a combined four conference championships and the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship in 12 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

    A formal introductory press conference will be held on Wednesday, April 28 at 9:00 a.m. in the main arena of the Ramsey Center with a live online stream available.

    "We talk every day about Catamount Athletics having a winning mentality and the confidence to believe we can bring championships to our university," said Gary. "Kerwin is a proven winner and has shown the ability to build successful programs. We are thrilled to welcome him and his family to Cullowhee."

     
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  15. persuader

    persuader GC Legend

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    He was throwing all of those passes off one good leg. They were certainly “ducks” that game. But, they were in the right spot. Very gutsy game. He wasn’t really supposed to even be playing, yet.
     
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  16. We summer up here about 20 miles away from WCU. Going to check out some games if we can. A perrenial loss every tine the Gators played them.
     
  17. gatorphil74

    gatorphil74 Freshman

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    Last time, in my memory, that Florida fans rushed the field and tore down the goalposts. One of the all time great football games in Gainesville.
     
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  18. Claygator

    Claygator GC Hall of Fame

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    Marshal Criser was on the sideline in a Navy blazer, and was totally jacked. Galen had held Kerwin out because of a gimpy knee, but put him in late in the game- maybe in the 4th quarter?— because we were losing. You don’t think Kerwin was in his ear and wanted to play?? Boy did Kerwin make it happen. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a game at UF where one player came back into the game late and rallied a team like that. It was epic.
     
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  19. thatguy

    thatguy Moderator VIP Member

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    Kerwin Bell is one of our five greatest Florida Gator quarterbacks.
     
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  20. iam4uf

    iam4uf GC Hall of Fame

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    I'd never heard of that game until now. One & Done: Kerwin Bell's 'perfect' game | FOX Sports
     
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