Edi­son High re­moves foot­ball coach mid­sea­son

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY BRYANT-JON ANTEOLA bjan­te­[email protected]­nobee.com Bryant-Jon Anteola: 559-441-6362, @Ban­te­o­la_TheBee

Former NFL player and Fresno State stand­out At­naf Har­ris was re­moved as the Edi­son High foot­ball coach.

“As of right now,” Har­ris said Fri­day night, “I will not be coach­ing the foot­ball team.”

Har­ris de­clined to give a rea­son for his sud­den de­par­ture. He ini­tially said he was “go­ing away for per­sonal rea­sons.”

Pat Rid­dle­sprig­ger, who over­sees ath­let­ics for Fresno Uni­fied, said Har­ris was let go be­cause of “per­sonal rea­sons.”

Har­ris was in the mid­dle of his sec­ond sea­son at Edi­son af­ter pre­vi­ously coach­ing at Roo­sevelt for two sea­sons.

In Har­ris’ first sea­son, Edi­son went 6-6 last sea­son and was elim­i­nated in the sec­ond round of the Cen­tral Sec­tion Di­vi­sion I play­offs.

This year, Edi­son (2-4) opened the sea­son with four straight losses while play­ing against some of the tough­est op­po­nents in the Cen­tral Sec­tion.

But the Tigers re­bounded to win two straight, in­clud­ing a 40-23 vic­tory against Madera South on Thurs­day to be­gin County/Metro Ath­letic Con­fer­ence play.

That turned out to be Har­ris’ last game at Edi­son.

It is un­clear why Edi­son would make a coach­ing change with four reg­u­lar-sea­son games re­main­ing.

Har­ris has shown he can turn around pro­grams in a short amount of time.

At Roo­sevelt, the Rough Riders went 2-9 in his first sea­son but then fin­ished 8-4 in Har­ris’ sec­ond sea­son.

Edi­son, for years, was one of the most dom­i­nant pro­grams in the Cen­tral Sec­tion, win­ning league ti­tles, con­tend­ing for sec­tion cham­pi­onships and pro­duc­ing Di­vi­sion I play­ers on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

But the pro­gram has strug­gled in re­cent years to re­gain its power and last won a sec­tion ti­tle in 2014 when Edi­son fin­ished 12-2 un­der former coach Matt John­son.

Edi­son now is seek­ing its fourth head coach since 2016.

Rid­dle­sprig­ger said Edi­son ath­letic di­rec­tor Hector Ver­duzco and foot­ball as­sis­tant McKin­ley Lee will fin­ish this sea­son as co-in­terim head coaches.

CRAIG KOHLRUSS FRESNO BEE FILE

Former NFL player At­naf Har­ris, right, was re­moved as coach at Edi­son High on Fri­day. De­tails why were not im­me­di­ately given. Edi­son is 2-4 on the sea­son and just kicked off County/Metro Ath­letic Con­fer­ence play with a 40-23 win against Madera South on Thurs­day.

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