TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Tim Russell made a name for himself, turning the Harmony Eagles into a consistent winner, and after a brief retirement, he finds himself in Tyler, leading the Grace Community Cougars.

“This feels like me, and since I’ve been there it has felt like me and I hope that everybody else feels that way in the community,” said Russell. “I see the guys coming together, and they love each other, and they want to do anything for each other, and that’s the kind of thing that I saw, and when I saw that from them I wanted to be a part of that myself and so that’s why I’m here.”

If you’re familiar with coach Russell’s time in Harmony, you know his teams are known for using misdirection and keeping the ball on the ground but expect to see a few different wrinkles with the Cougars.

“We’re going to change things up a little bit, we’re still going to run the ball a lot, but we’re going to run out of different formations,” said Russell. “We have different talent levels, we have a lot of athleticism on our team, I feel like.”

“He looks at our team and plays to our team’s strengths, so once he says we’re playing to this formation with this scheme, I know that’s what’s going to be best for the team,” said senior Reed Alexander.

The Cougs have plenty of work to do, but coach Russell’s primary focus will be to continue building relationships and trust with his players.

“I love everything about football season, but most of all, I love bonding with the guys, and that has been something special, and I know this year is going to be no different than that,” said Russell.

Whether he’s wearing Harmony red or now donning Grace Cougar blue, coach Russell looks to continue to show what it takes to win in East Texas.