GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN) — Jamel Harris has been named the next head coach of the Geneva High School football program.

Geneva City Schools approved the hire at a board meeting Friday morning.

Harris served as defensive coordinator for the Panthers the last two seasons under former head coach Les Sanders.

Harris takes over from Sanders who resigned in December after going 40-42 in eight seasons with the Panthers.

Before joining the Panthers’ program Harris served as defensive coordinator for Dothan for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Harris has also held coaching roles, including coordinator positions, at Rehobeth, Eufaula and Enterprise.

2023 will mark his first season as a head football coach.

“If I’m going to be a head coach it will have to be a special place,” Harris said. “I didn’t want to be a head coach just to say I’m a head coach. It has to be at a place that’s really involved in the community. They love football. They really support this school, this football team and this city so I felt at home here.”

Harris is not too far from home, the Wiregrass native graduated from Wicksburg High School in 1996 before playing linebacker for the Arkansas Razorbacks in college.

Harris says his first priority as head coach is to establish a strong foundation especially because Geneva competes in a tough Class 4A Region Two.