Bell using his platform to make a difference

Bell using his platform to make a difference

By Dana Becker

Brian Bell understands the importance of his role as a leader of young men in this day and age.

Bell, a defensive backs coach for New Mexico State, previously played for Iowa Central and returned to coach the Tritons. 

"Being a minority coach, especially in the times like now, is great because I have a platform that I am able to speak to players who look like me and even some who don't and give them some of my experiences and maybe it can help them through difficult times," Bell said. "I hope I can be a positive influence to some and they are able to use their platform to reach to others and help people better understand them and their culture because 'Black Lives Matter.'"

From 1997-99, Bell was a student-athlete for the Tritons before moving on to Bemidji State University where he earned his bachelor's degree in physical education. He later added a master's degree in technology from Dakota State University. 

After coaching at a high school in Houston and Dakota State, he returned to Iowa Central to join the staff and work as an instructor. Bell coached the drop ends and strong safeties along with his teaching duties and working in housing. 

"Some of the really great teammates and coaches I had during my time as a player at ICCC," Bell said. "Also winning a bunch of football games and bowl games… I still keep in touch with quite a few of those guys and coaches, really great people that truly impacted my life."

Bell reflected on his time at Iowa Central as he came from Port Arthur, Texas to Fort Dodge.

"First, from being a player at ICCC to returning to ICCC to teach and coach, was a great learning experience. Coming from my hometown of Port Arthur, to Fort Dodge was an eye-opening experience for any 17-year-old kid," he said. "Port Arthur is a very diverse city with individuals coming from all walks of live. I think the way I was raised help me thrive in the environment I was introduce to while at ICCC. Of course, it was different, there wasn't any Gulf of Mexico breeze to speak of and it got really cold later in the football. With all that being said, being exposed to a different place, maybe sometimes uncomfortable but that's why moving on to a coaching career after being a student-athlete ICCC made it a really easy transition into a career for me."

In 2014, Bell spent time with the San Francisco 49ers as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship and was selected to participate in the 2009 NCAA Football Coaches Academy.

His decision to get into the coaching profession came about as a way to remain close to the game following his playing days.

"Those who can't play anymore coach," Bell laughed. "I just thought it was a great opportunity to continue to be involved with something that I have a true passion for. Also, how the game of football helped mold my life into something that probably would not have been possible without it. Continue to promote and be an ambassador for something that has given me many opportunities that others who were not involved in college athletics did not have the opportunities the game presented to me.

"My first ever coach, my father, Christopher Bell, all coaches that ever coached me or were on the staff on teams that I played on (have been influences on me). Until now guys who I have worked with and just friends in the coaching profession."

Bell and his wife, Amanda (Pilcher) Bell, have twins Bronx and Brooklyn.