Craig’s new coach runs the “Fastest Forty” speed and strength program.

If the Craig County football team hopes to get faster and stronger, the Rockets picked the right guy to coach. If they want to win football games, that all goes hand in hand.

Mark Harrison is the new Craig County High School football coach.

Mark Harrison was named the new coach of the Rockets this week and he comes with some solid credentials. His “Fastest Forty” program is reknown as a top flight way for kids to get faster and stronger and improve their football prowess. Mark gives clinics throughout the area and the results of his methods have been impressive.

“I feel like I can really help these kids if they buy into the program,” said Harrison. “I’m tickled to death to join this team.”

Harrison has a wealth of experience as a football coach. A Botetourt County resident, he coached with Larry Carter, Tater Benson and Jamie Harless in the successful LB program with stints as both a varsity assistant and a head coach at the middle school.

For the past two years Mark has been a high school assistant in Group 1A, at Auburn in 2015 and at Eastern Montgomery last year. He got a good look at the Craig County team as his team beat the Rockets in each of those years, and he’s hoping to turn that around when he puts on the blue and white.

“I coached against them the last two years and I know what kind of people we have in Craig County,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what size school you have, it’s the people you work with and I feel like we have some passionate people. If the kids buy into what we’re going to do, we’re going to win some football games.”

Harrison would like to add a few coaches, but that’s still in the works. He’d like to have a jayvee team in addition to the middle school team.

“I’m lovin’ this,” he said. “I feel like I have a lot of knowledge of the game and we can make a major impact on the program here. I want to start a ‘Touchdown Club’ in the county and get everyone behind the team.”

A football junky, Harrison will continue with his “Fastest 40” program, and he’s also on the staff for the Star City Rebels Minor League team as offensive line coach and strength coach. The Rebels will play their games at Salem Stadium with a spring schedule, which can be found on the internet at

He’s going to meet with the team on Friday and lay out his plans for the future. There’s nowhere to go but up as the Rockets are coming off an 0-10 season, and just three wins in the past three years.

“I know they can be a lot better than that,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started. I’ve been walking around on cloud nine.”