In a disturbing series of events, John Harrell, the head football coach at Rockwall-Heath High School was suspended and placed on administrative leave after some of his students were either hospitalized or needed immediate medical attention following an intense 400 push-ups workout session.
After this incident, which occurred on Friday during an off-season workout session, Principal Todd Bradford sent out letters to the parents of the students saying that they needed to be hospitalized while some required medical attention, reported Fox4News.
The Dallas Morning News reports at least eight students were hospitalized.
Who is John Harrell?
John Harrell has been a part of the school’s football program as a coach since 2019. He was appointed Rockwall Heath’s head football coach in 2022.
Harrell has been a part of other football programs across North Texas.
Harrell career in athletics ranges from Head Powerlifting Coach, Run Game Coordinator to Offensive Coordinator. He had previously taught Geography and World History.
Harrell was first hired as Tight End Graduate Assistant Coach, then as Offensive Line at the collegiate level at Tarleton State University. He later coached at the same positions at Hutchinson Community College and Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
He was the Run Game Coordinator and the Head Coach at Rockwall Heath High School
Brady Luff, the football team’s junior captain at Rockwall Heath, has come to defence of Harrell. Luff, who was present at the workout session, said that he believed that Harrell did not intend to punish the students, but to discipline them.
He added that the students were allowed to take a break and have water, contradicting the statement made by a parent earlier, claiming that the students were not free to take a break during the session.
He also said that Harrell treated the players like his own children with nothing but respect for them.
The school district has informed that a third party investigator was hired to investigate the catastrophe.