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Michael Harper named St. John Paul II head football coach

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Huntsville, AL – The St. Paul John II Catholic Falcons have landed their next head football coach.  Former Whitesburg Christian coach Michael Harper has been named the Falcons’ 7th leader on the gridiron.  

Harper takes over for former SJPII head coach Joe Ross who lead the Falcons to a 0-10 mark in 2021.

Click here to check out the full 2022 Alabama high school football Coaching Carousel.  

“The most important lessons that I have learned as a coach is that players want to play for a coach that they can trust and one that genuinely cares for them,” Coach Harper said in a statement. “One of my goals will be to form a personal relationship with each player. I have always believed that the more the players trust you, the harder they will play for you.”

The Jacksonville Christian alum spent last season as an assistant at Winston County’s Lynn High School.  His first head coaching stop was a one year stint at Huntsville’s Whitesburg Christian Academy.  In 2020 he lead the startup Warriors to a 2-8 record in the school’s first season of varsity competition.  Earlier in his career he spent time as an assistant at James Clemens and Huntsville High Schools.

Harper leading the Whitesburg Christian Lions in 2020. Brant Berry | PrepsNet

“We are thankful to our JPII community members who stepped up to keep our football program on track these last two years,” said SJPII Athletic Director Matt McManus. “We look forward to having Coach Harper establish stability and continuity in our program and create excitement for what we plan to accomplish. Coach Harper’s energy and enthusiasm, coupled with his ability to build a successful high school program, made him our top candidate from the start. He has made a commitment to our student-athletes, families, and supporters to expand and develop our football program from the high school down to the middle school level.”

The Falcons will join DAR, Madison County, New Hope, North Jackson, Priceville, Randolph and Westminster Christian in a retooled Class 4A, Region 8 in 2022.