Clay Harrell joins the Gladiators staff for the 2017 season as Defensive Line/Strength Coach. Harrell comes to Cleveland after serving as Offensive/Defensive Line Coach for the Orlando Predators in 2016.
Harrell spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons serving in the same role as Offensive/Defensive Line Coach for the Portland Thunder, where he developed a unit that surrendered the fifth fewest sacks, 19, in the Arena Football League in 2015. He began his coaching career with the Spokane Shock in 2012, serving as the team's line coach.
Prior to his coaching career, Harrell started every game at fullback for the Spokane Shock during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. As a runner, he totaled 135 yards with nine touchdowns on 24 carries in helping Spokane win ArenaBowl XXIII in 2010.
Harrell began his Arena Football career in 2006 as a member of the af2's Everett Hawks, where he earned All-af2 Second-Team honors as a defensive lineman. He entered the Arena Football League the following year with the Nashville Kats and converted to the offensive line. Harrell joined the Los Angeles Avengers in 2008, where he caught seven passes for 79 yards and four touchdowns. Harrell played his final year with the Gladiators in 2013, playing seven games, before retiring and joining the Thunder coaching staff in 2014.
A native of West Sacramento, CA, Harrell played collegiately at Northern State University where he earned All-Conference honors as a senior in 2005.