Coach David Harper is about to take the field for the first time...as a head coach that is. Harper is right at home between the chalked lines of a football field. From 1986 to 1989, Harper was a mainstay in the defensive backfield as a linebacker. His resume' for the Panthers is quite impressive:
Harper holds records for::
- Game: 25, David Harper vs. E&H, 1987
- Season: 161, David Harper, 1986
- Career: 421, David Harper, 1985-88
- Season: 61, David Harper, 1986
- Career: 175, Kelvin Fuller, 1999-2002
155, David Harper, 1985-88
Harper was a co-captain and linebacker for the Ferrum College football team from 1986-89. He was named an All-American by Kodak in 1987 and 1988, Pizza Hut/CoSIDA in 1988, Football News in 1988 and Associated Press in 1988. Harper was a member of the 1987 Ferrum College team, which made the first NCAA playoff appearance in school history. Harper was the first Ferrum Athlete to have his jersey, #56, retired. He was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Roanoke Times in 1988.
As offensive coordinator for the last 12 seasons, Harper enjoyed a great deal of success overseeing the offense. Ferrum’s rushing offense finished 12th or higher in the nation in 10 of his 12 seasons as offensive coordinator. Ferrum's 2005 offense established school records for rushing yards in a season (4,332) points in a season (439) and single-game yards (686).
Harper also served as defensive coordinator from 1993 to 1998. During this tenure, Ferrum boasted some of the best defensive statistics in the nation.
So Saturday begins the next chapter. As the Panthers travel to Emory and Henry, they should be mindful that this chapter begins not only for Coach Harper, but for all of Ferrum football. It is a chance to take that first step to re establish the dominance that Ferrum football was once so widely known for. So board the bus Panthers and begin the process of writing the next chapter....Stay focused, and bring home a win over the Wasps!