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St. John Paul II hires Michael Harper to lead Falcons' football program

Michael Harper is returning to the Tennessee Valley. This week, he was hired as the head football coach at St. John Paul II
Credit: FOX 54


The JPII Athletic Department announced today that Michael Harper has accepted the position of Head Coach for the Football program. 

Coach Harper comes to the Falcons with extensive football coaching experience, having coached at Whitesburg Christian Academy (WCA), James Clemens High School, Huntsville High School, and Liberty Middle School. Highlights of Coach Harper’s football career include: starting a high school program at WCA, four state playoff appearances, an undefeated season, and a Regional Championship.

Harper’s goal for the football program is to consistently have a team, on and off the field, of which the JPII community can be proud. His long-term goal is to be recognized as one of the most competitive football programs in the Huntsville/Madison area. When looking at his football experiences, Coach said, “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. 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.” 

JPII Athletic Director Matt McManus remarked, “We are thankful to our JPII community members who stepped up to keep our football program on track these last two years. 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.” 

Coach Harper commented, “We are going to work extremely hard to help your child grow into not only a good football player, but help them on their journey to becoming a great person, husband, father, and responsible adult.”

Mr. Harper will join the JPII faculty/staff as facilities manager and will also help teach our new class focused on strength and conditioning. McManus states, “Our student-athletes need to get in the weight room and this new offering goes a long way in establishing the framework for a school-wide Strength and Conditioning program.”

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