Interview with William D. "Bill" Harrell, May 26, 1978

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

William D. Harrell is the head basketball coach of Muncie Central High School in Muncie, Indiana. He attended Kentucky Wesleyan University in Owensboro, Kentucky. He earned his B.A. in History, but minored in Physical Education. Harrell received his Master's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1963. He talks about his teachers, his instruction, and his experiences at both Kentucky Wesleyan and UK. He did not recall any black students in his classes. Harrell was aware of just one black instructor for his correspondence course in Sociology, who he never met. He discusses at length the recruiting situation with black basketball players. He recalls the perception that highly recruited white players came to UK because there would be no black players.

Harrell talks about his love for basketball as a child and his decision as a teenager to become a basketball coach. He mentions Lester Norton Ralph Carlisle and Earl Jones, high school basketball coaches who ran excellent programs at the time. In the mid-1960s, Harrell became the basketball coach at Shelby County High School. They won the State Championship in 1966. He mentions players Mike Casey and Terry Davis. Harrell talks about a black player, Scott Jones, who transferred to Shelby County from Lincoln Institute. Harrell left Shelby County to become an Assistant Coach at the University of Nebraska for the two years. In 1970, he accepted the head coaching position at Morehead State University, where he stayed for five years. He talks at length about disagreements over scheduling, a controversial game with Illinois State University, and his decision to come to Muncie Central in 1974. He discusses the organization of state basketball tournaments in Kentucky and Indiana and teaching qualifications for the coaches. He emphasizes that, although some are perhaps born with the talent, anyone that wants to be a basketball coach and works hard at it can succeed.

Interview Accession

1978oh047_af088

Interviewee Name

William D. "Bill" Harrell

Interviewer Name

William Cooper

Interview Date

1978-05-26

Interview Keyword

Bill Harrell

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Harrell, William D. Interview by William Cooper. 26 May. 1978. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Harrell, W.D. (1978, May 26). Interview by W. Cooper. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Harrell, William D., interview by William Cooper. May 26, 1978, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7z08637w0k