Mainland hires former Buc Jerrime ’Squatty’ Bell to be new head football coach

Bell replaces Travis Roland, who led the Buccaneers to a state championship last season.

Former Mainland defensive lineman Jerrime "Squatty" Bell is the new head football coach at Mainland High. Courtesy photo
Former Mainland defensive lineman Jerrime "Squatty" Bell is the new head football coach at Mainland High. Courtesy photo
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When the Mainland High School head football coaching position opened last month, Jerrime “Squatty” Bell asked his wife if he should apply. She told him to go for it. How could she not?

Jerrime "Squatty" Bell led Atlantic High for the past three seasons. Courtesy photo

“Mainland is a dream job for me,” Bell said. “I’ve been a Buc my entire life.”

Bell was named the Buccaneers’ head coach on March 20, three weeks after Travis Roland stepped down to take the head coaching position at Georgia powerhouse Camden County High School.

Roland led the Bucs to the Class 3S state championship in December.

Bell was the head coach at Atlantic High School in Port Orange the past three years. He led the Sharks to a district championship and a playoff appearance this past season.

Bell played on the defensive line for the Bucs from 1998 to 2001 and graduated from Mainland in 2002. He becomes the third consecutive Mainland football coach who also played for the team. Scott Wilson, who graduated from Mainland in 1997, coached the Bucs from 2010 to 2020. Roland, who graduated from Mainland in 2004, coached his alma mater the past three seasons.

Mainland athletic director Terry Anthony said Bell's familiarity with the program played a part in his selection, but it wasn't the deciding factor.

“We received about two dozen resumes and then we selected a few candidates that we thought would be a good fit for this program, and he stood out above the rest," Anthony said. "Him knowing the area and having that Buc pride in his blood played a little bit into it. But the thing that stood out the most is he's proven now. He's proven that he could take a program and build it up.”

The Bucs have made the playoffs in 30 consecutive seasons. They were state runners-up in 2022 before winning the championship last year. Bell knows all about Mainland’s legacy as well as the school's high expectations.

“The talent pool is great. The feeder programs are tremendous,” Bell said. “Mainland is one of the best jobs in the state.”

Mainland is a dream job for me. I’ve been a Buc my entire life.”

The Bucs are losing eight Division I signees from their state championship team, but Bell said the talent pool at Mainland is never going to dry up.

“We’ll have a lot of young talent and a lot of senior experience (next year)," Bell said. "I’ll be able to lean on the senior leadership to keep the program running at a high level.”

Bell coached Pop Warner football, one of Mainland’s feeder programs, for several years. He was the offensive coordinator at Calvary Christian in Ormond Beach in 2012 and was an assistant coach at Treasure Coast High School in Port St. Lucie for seven years before taking over a 1-6 team at Atlantic in 2021.

He said he will keep all of the assistant coaches on staff if they want to stay. “Why get rid of a championship staff?” he said.

Roland served as the team’s offensive coordinator last season. Bell said he has a few options to bring a new offensive coordinator aboard. If they don't work out, he said, he can lead the offense with help from his offensive assistants. He has served as a coordinator on both sides of the ball at Calvary and Treasure Coast.

Bell ran a single-wing offense at Atlantic and Treasure Coast. The Sharks rushed for 268.8 yards per game last season. But he said he will keep the spread offense that Wilson and Roland ran with the Bucs.   

“They’ve put up a lot of points with the spread system,” he said. “But we may add the single wing to our rhino package for short yardage situations.”

Bell will finish the school year as a staff member at Atlantic, but after spring break he plans to come over to Mainland after school to run a voluntary off-season conditioning program for the players. In May, he'll run spring practice.

“There were some very good resumes,” Anthony said. “But it takes a special type of person to run this program. I think he's the perfect guy for us right now, and I think the future is bright for us.”


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