Harold CogginsSince January 2013, Harold Coggins has served the Advance-Monticellonian newspaper in Monticello as sports editor. In that capacity, he covers not only Monticello and Drew Central high schools and the University of Arkansas at Monticello but all schools in both Class 4A, District 8 and Class 3A, District 6 (for football) or 3A-8 (for all other sports). Oh yeah, he also covers the 11 colleges in UAM’s Great American Conference.

Before moving to Monticello, Harold was out of journalism for more than eight years because of circumstances where he was living in Kansas City, Missouri. But don’t let that gap fool you; Harold is a 36-plus-year veteran of sports reporting. He wrote his first sports story as a ninth grader in England, Ark., and, after earning a B.S. in journalism from Arkansas State – where he served as student assistant sports information director under Jerry Schaeffer – he got his first sports reporting job at the Pine Bluff Commercial. Harold worked under three sports editors at Pine Bluff, including the late great Frank Lightfoot and a current Sporting Life Arkansas featured columnist, Jim Harris.

Moving to Missouri in 1989 to attend seminary in Kansas City, Harold got a part-time job at The Kansas City Star, which quickly evolved into a full-time position as statistics editor on the night sports desk – and occasional writer. Some 14 years later, Harold and wife Cindy moved to Oklahoma for a brief time before returning to the Kansas City area. Harold has worked as a sports stringer for newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, and is a former Information Director for the Southland Conference.

Among Harold’s many sports reporting highlights are covering the Arkansas-North Carolina basketball game in Pine Bluff in 1984 – the only game that season that boasted four Olympians (before the NBA took over) on the same floor – Arkansas’ Joe Kleine and Alvin Robertson and UNC’s Michael Jordan and James Worthy. Harold also was the beat reporter for Pine Bluff High School when the Zebras won 11 state championships in track and field in the 1980’s under the late Andrew Butler, seven boys’ and four girls’ crowns.

Because of that experience, and because he attended college with former pole vault world record holder Earl Bell (a three-time Olympian and the first American to clear 19 feet outdoors), Harold’s favorite sport is track and field – but enjoys and writes about all sports.