Cherryville High School roundball coach Harrill gets 375th win at Mt. Airy
Coaching intensity! The four CHS Ironmen basketball coaches are (left to right): Assistant coach/head JV coach Antonio Griggs; CHS Ironmen head basketball coach Scott Harrill; and CHS Ironmen assistant basketball coaches Dennis Tate, and Dr. Bud Black. (Eagle file photos by Michael E. Powell)
by MICHAEL E. POWELL
With his 375th basketball win in the February playoffs game against the Mount Airy Bears, CHS roundball head coach Scott Harrill moved to second place as one of Gaston County’s winningest coaches.
Harrill, also the Ironmen Athletic Director, is not the type to talk much about his reaching this level in his career, preferring to let his wins and abilities and coaching style set the record straight about how he does what he does.
He is also quick to spread the fame around and isn’t shy about doling out the praise to those who have helped him attain the wins, for he knows he didn’t do it all, he will tell, all by himself.
When asked how it getting win #375 at Mount Airy in the 2020 NCHSAA first round State Playoffs, he said, “About like the other 374; all of them are special. That one being a playoff game was a fun time, especially afterwards, being able to celebrate in the locker room with the team.”
The CHS Ironmen made that road trip to Mount Airy and came away with one of the most exciting playoff wins – 67-66 – in the school’s history.
The last time they got this far in was 2014, said Coach Harrill.
He is currently second on the all-time Gaston County basketball coaching records list now, behind Coach Marty Hatchell, who coached the BCHS girl’s and boy’s teams and the Ashbrook High boys, from 1985-86, and 2008-2009.
As for moving past Hatchell’s career-high wins for Gaston County next season, Harrill said, “Marty was a fabulous coach, against whom we had some great games. Just to be mentioned with him is special.”
In his multi-year career (2000-2020), the youthful looking, 40-something-ish Harrill said he has played against one or two of those on the list.
Said Harrill, “Coach Blalock was always a great 'x/o’ coach. All our games had some great endings. Coach White, now, he was kind of like a mentor, friend, as well as a coaching opponent. I enjoyed my years getting to coach against Hal. We even went on a mission trip to Brazil together and worked with some professional basketball players in Brazil on missions.”
As for mentors of the game to him, Harrill said, “I played for the late Coach David Watkins. I have had several mentors in the game, the late G.C. Harrill (no kin to Scott), who I started as an assistant under at South Point.
“Coach (Dr. Bud) Black and Coach (Dennis) Tate, who have been with me all 20 years here at CHS, (and) Coach Mike Muse has been a good friend lately.”
Harrill continued, “I don’t try to emulate anyone, but I try to attend coaching clinics and pick up little bits of knowledge from many coaches. I just love the game of basketball, and anything I can learn each year is something I try to install (in the CHS program).
Harrill noted he started at South Point as the head junior varsity coach and varsity assistant in 1996 until 1999. “Coach Watkins called me in June of 1999 and asked if I would come back to Cherryville and take over for him if he passed away from the terminal cancer he had been diagnosed with.
“I came back in August of 1999 as the head JV coach and one of his assistant coaches. I took over as the head varsity coach in December of 2000.”
Coach Harrill, in reference to the playoffs win in February, said CHS Ironmen hoops teams have been to the regionals many times, the last trip being with Terry Whisnant, II’s group in 2010.
Characteristic of the man he is, Coach Harrill said of his attaining the 375 wins (and counting), “I could never have coached as long as I have without the support of my family!
“My wife, Teresa has been by my side for the 25 years I have coached. My mom and dad (Marie and Howard Harrill) are always big supporters and you can always see them behind the bench. I have been blessed with two awesome kids – Trevor and Lane – who both played for me and love the game of basketball like I do.
“Coach Black, Coach Tate, and Coach Griggs are in it together with me. They are just as much a part of this as I am. The wins are a total team effort and nothing to do with me.
“The many players that have played for us at Cherryville are what makes our time special. The relationships are more important to me than any win. I love seeing these young men grow up to be productive citizens.
“The wins and losses come and go, but the players that have played for me are part of mine and Teresa’s family for life. They all hold a special place in my heart.
“There is nothing I love more than talking to former players about a marriage, having kids, promotions, jobs, college graduation, or all the other exciting things going on in their lives.
“The good Lord has blessed me more than I deserve and has allowed me to do something every day that I love to do. Coaching/teaching is not a job to me, but a passion, and a place God has called me to serve. I appreciate the community of Cherryville for the support of the years, and we are already looking forward to the next season! Go Ironmen!”