Beloved Football Coach Proven A Team Player


Briana Fleming, staff writer

Ellis Register was nicknamed “Scooter” when he was only three days old by his father who was a huge fan of the Hall of Fame American Major League Baseball shortstop, Phil Rizzuto, who had the same nickname. And, who knew that just like Rizzuto, Coach Register would grow up to take a up a love for a sport, football, and have it be of significant importance in their life.

“I’ve been coaching football for forty-two years.” Coach Register said. “I’m sixty-five years old, but it’s still fun and seems like I really just started yesterday.”

With all that time coaching, it takes a lot of effort to keep pushing and going through the years with teammates and getting to know your players. He has even coached at other places such as El Dorado, Little Rock Catholic, and Little Rock McClellan. But, Coach Register says that his passion for coaching has been around for a while. Because ever since he was a boy football was all he knew.

“I grew up in a small town and almost everybody played football, that’s probably why I’m coaching, because my high school coach (Rush Harding) had such a major impact in my life,” he said, “and I lost my dad when I was real young, and he and my dad were actually first cousins. So, he took me and my brother in. He was an English teacher as well, he never put up with any nonsense. And, that’s what I grew up with.

He explains that the tough love is necessary for his players. He believes that if a coach never gets on a player that is when you should start to worry. To Coach Register, there is more to football than practicing and playing.

“Coaching football is teaching, you’re teaching young men how to become young adults, just by using football as a vehicle. It’s like teaching in a classroom. You’ve got to be prepared any day and have to know the fundamentals. So you’ve got to have a plan everyday.” He said.

As a coach, all Coach Register wants is to have his players become solid citizens in their community and them being able to be productive people and have jobs.

“The biggest satisfaction is when you have a former player come by and say ‘coach, you had a lot of influence on me,’ I really appreciate that.” he said. “And, a lot of my assistant coaches have gone on and become head coaches, and that’s pretty special to me.”

He has plans of retirement, and wants to get to the point where he can just enjoy life a bit. Coach Register still has his health, and wants football to be a huge part of his life, even after he retires.

But, as far as now and looking towards the future seasons, he’s very hopeful. Getting new groups every year can be a toll on the coaches, but he has former students who help get the kids in order. And, when looking for new teammates, Coach Register wants to make sure to have everyone out there and giving their best.

“Everybody’s a different size, and everybody don’t run fast, but I’ve always said there’s a place for everybody, and we try to find a place for them.” Coach Register said.

When looking back at all of it, Coach Register stated that he would do it all over again if he could. Football is and will continue to be a big part of his life, and he wants to have his name tied to being a fair and honest coach.

“If I had to do it all over again, I’d do the same thing. Because, it’s truly been a great profession, and this is what I wanted to do, and I’d do it again now. Everyday, I’ve learned something new, so if I started over and I could keep everything I learned; I probably would be a better coach. But, it’s a process, and you learn something new everyday, and you continue to perfect your profession.” he said. “It’s been a great ride, a great profession. I would suggest that anyone who loves sports and wants to be around it and be around young people, it’s a great way to do it.”