INSIDER: Bell rings for the Dolphins

Jan. 2, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - He was a walk-on quarterback who took advantage of an opportunity and parlayed it into a successful collegiate and professional career.

Kerwin Bell began his second collegiate career on Tuesday as he was named the second head coach in the history of JU football.

It was a home run hire for JU, bringing in one of the most well-known names in the history of football in the state.

"Kerwin is a proven winner and a leader with a vision for JU football and we will do everything we can to attain excellence with our program," said JU Director of Athletics Alan Verlander. "We believe that the community of this great city will come out and support our efforts in building a top-rate football program."

Bell's career is littered with success. He built his career up from a walk-on at Florida into a Heisman Trophy candidate his senior season.

He went on to play professionally for 10 years with several teams in the NFL before wrapping up his time in the pros with a record-setting stint in the CFL.

To start his coaching career, Bell built Trinity Catholic High School into a state power, winning 27 straight games at one point, including the 2005 state title.

Now, the time has come for him to move up to the collegiate ranks and Bell is handed the task of taking JU to the top of the Pioneer Football League and beyond.

"With Alan's vision of where this program can go, I think we have a very bright future ahead of us," Bell said. "I feel his energy and excitement about taking JU football to another level and that we can do something special. This program has a lot of potential and once people see the product we put out on the field, they will want to jump on board as we build something special for the entire city of Jacksonville to enjoy."

With his background of winning and success, no matter what the circumstances, Bell has a "never say die" attitude which has been a strong influence on all the players he's coached.

He also has an innate ability to "coach `em up" as Steve Spurrier would say. While he only spent one season working under Spurrier, he learned a lot from the way Spurrier handled his team and the program as a whole - which had a big influence on him getting into coaching.

"I wasn't excited about coaching until I got involved with Coach Spurrier," Bell said. "While I was there, I really got into it because of attaining perfection on the field. I've seen it with the way he coached, implemented his plays and strived for perfection. That's what I try to do, execute to perfection.

"I've had some older coaches tell me that I'm too hard on them because they can't reach it, but you've got to strive for it to be successful."