Marion High School named James Bell as its new head football coach Thursday.

For the past three seasons, Bell has served as an assistant to Craig Chambers, who left the program last week to become assistant athletic director and head football coach at Indianapolis Tech.

“It is with great excitement and anticipation that James Bell has been named as the next skipper of the Marion Giants football program,” said Marion Athletic Director Steve Moritz in a news release. “Coach Bell will lead this program with outstanding credentials. Not only has he been Marion’s Associate Head Coach, Offensive/Defensive Consultant, for the past three years under former Head Coach Craig Chambers, he has been a high school head coach as well as a college head coach”

Bell spent the 2003-05 seasons as head coach at Jackson State University before moving into the same position at Taylor University for the 2006 and ’07 seasons. He has also been a defensive coordinator at Indiana University under Cam Cameron as well as being an assistant to former Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell at Wake Forest.

Bell steps into the role immediately, as high school athletics re-open July 6 under the guidance of the IHSAA and local, state, and national health officials.

“While at Marion the past three years, Coach Bell’s offenses averaged 35.1 points per game and 326 yards per game in total offense,” Moritz said. “Although James Bell has big shoes to fill with the departure of Coach Craig Chambers, we have no doubt he will have GIANT success and keep our top-notch football program at a championship level. Coach Bell is a man of faith, integrity, and character. He has the unique ability to lead young men, not only on the football field, but through their daily lives as a high school student.”

Bell has been with Marion Community Schools since the 2017-18 school year, serving as a teacher, interim athletic director, and most recently Assistant Principal at Marion High School – which he will remain. Bell earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Central Arkansas, and his master’s degree in health and physical education from Northwest Missouri State University. He has served as coach, teacher, athletic director, and administrator roles in several school districts over his career.

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