Photo Gallery from the dedication night is below.
Bishop Moore enjoyed much football success during the early 1960"s but change came in the form of a larger than life football coach from Appleton, Wisconsin. Coach Harry Nelson arrived in 1964 and became such a fixture that his personality defined the school.
The Hornets became the David against the 6A metro schools Goliath every Friday night. Harry “the Hornets” confidence, motivation and heart extended beyond the football program to the entire school community.
He was a giant of man, with a booming voice, interesting vocabulary, and intimidating demeanor but his heart was his biggest attribute. He was an art teacher; He designed the schools band uniforms and he played drums on occasion. He was the first Coach inducted into the Bishop Moore Hall of Fame.
The Hornets had many great teams during the 1960’s and 1970’s. But the pinnacle of success was achieved in 1970 when Bishop Moore became the first Orlando high school to win a state football championship. To best illustrate the significance of that record, high school football has been played in Orlando for over 100 years. There is still just one Orlando high school to have ever won a state football title and that is those 1970 Hornets.
Coach Nelson led the Hornets from 1964 through the 1976 season, taking a hiatus during the 1972 season. He spent the next five years at Colonial High School and retired from coaching in 1990 and from teaching in 1997 while at Lake Mary.
He left a lasting impression on not just every football player with whom he came in contact, but every student as well. He still lives in the same modest house less than a mile from Bishop Moore with his wife Jan. He and Jan have four children -- Bill and his wife Dana live in Redding, Ct. with their two sons Henry and Charles. Ben and his wife Missi live in Basalt, Co. Heidi and her husband Steve live in Orlando; and Jake and his wife Sandra and two children Brenden and Kiley live in Kansas City, Mo.
On September 19, 2008, Harry Nelson Field at Memorial Stadium was officially dedicated with a pre-game and halftime ceremony. Over 350 of Coach Nelson"s former coaches, players, students, and friends were in attendnace as well as his family.
Click Here for a Harry Nelson Interview describing his time at Bishop Moore as part of an interview about the history of Bishop Moore Football.