Marcus Harrell

White Plains Layne Dyar gets a hug from her coach Marcus Harrell during the state golf championships at Hampton Cove. This was after the final round. Photo by Bill Wilson / The Anniston Star

After winning two state championships at White Plains, Marcus Harrell is no longer the golf coach for the Wildcats.

Harrell coached the girls golf team to back-to-back state championships in 2015 and 2016.

According to Harrell, he was told that the entire team would not receive championship rings from this season and only the top four players would. He said he felt the entire team deserved rings, and because he refused to agree to allowing only the top four getting the prize, he was replaced as the golf coach.

Harrell also coached junior high girls basketball, and he will no longer be coaching that team either.

This past season, Harrell led White Plains to its first Calhoun County girls golf tournament championship and then followed that up with a second state title. The girls’ two state titles are the only two state championships in school history.

On the boys’ side, he led the Wildcats to a third-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament this past season and Layton Bussey tied for the individual state title.

“This team means the world to me and have, as a team, worked so hard this year,” Harrell said in a text message Thursday night. “It was a phenomenal year. I just felt it was the right thing to do, to stand up for those girls. The whole team deserved rings.”

Harrell said he wasn’t sure about what his next step would be.

“I know God has a perfect plan and I just want to make sure I’m always doing my best to walk in that plan,” Harrell said. “I will continue to walk in faith — faith opens the hand of God, fear closes the hand of God.”

Harrell was a collegiate golfer at Jacksonville State and is a successful amateur player.

“We raised the bar and set our goals really high,” Harrell said after winning the county girls tournament in March. “We let them know on the first day that the county championship and the state championship was our goal and anything less than that was not acceptable. People thought we were crazy, but it went from crazy ideas to achievable.”