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JCHS football field named for Coach Harold Arnold

“A Legend in His Own Time,” is a phrase used often to describe someone who has led a life of dedication and success. That particular saying has been applied to many people over time. I am confident that it is not an overstatement to say Coach Harold Arnold is truly “A Legend in His Own Time.” His most recent honor was having the Johnson County High School football field named for him. Henceforth the field shall be “Harold Arnold Field.” That distinction is well deserved, as many folks would attest.
Arnold was football coach and Health and Physical Education teacher during my days at JCHS. My acquaintance with Harold “Coach” Arnold began my freshman year at JCHS when he was my Health and Physical Education teacher. Of course, I continue to value his friendship and as it turns out we see each other almost every week at First Christian Church where we are members.

An on-field ceremony was held at the first home football game marking the naming of the field in honor of Arnold. The stadium remains McEwen Stadium. It was named for the late Paul H. McEwen, who served for several years as Superintendent of Schools in Johnson County.

“From early in my life I wanted to be a coach,” Arnold said. “I’m very receptive to all the young men I’ve coached”, he continued. “Often young men who played for me come up to me and thank me for my influence on their lives.”

Among his many honors was his induction into Johnson County High School’s “Wall of Fame.” That honor was well earned since his tenure as coach at JCHS, his alma mater, resulted in many victories and honors for himself, his school and his teams over the years.

Coach Arnold played football for what was then the Mountain City Rangers, later called the Johnson County Longhorns. He also played baseball and basketball for JCHS. After graduation from high school, Arnold played halfback for East Tennessee State Teacher’s College (now East Tennessee State University). He is also a U. S. Navy veteran. After coming to JCHS as a teacher and coach, he served 29 years before retiring. He coached football, basketball and baseball. There were times he coached all three sports in the same year. He served as football coach for sixteen years, basketball coach for ten years and baseball coach for eight years. His football teams won the Watauga conference championship on three occasions, going undefeated during one of those seasons. During his career he was selected Coach of the Year in football three times, once in basketball and once in baseball.

I congratulate Coach Arnold for all the many honors he has received over the years, especially for having the JCHS football field named in his honor. I can think of no better recipient of that honor than Coach Harold Arnold — “a Legend in His Own Time.” The very best to you coach.