Coach Charlie Sorrels’ obituary


Charlie Sorrels, 62, of Atkins, passed away Thursday, January 12, 2017, at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock.  He was born May 28, 1954, son of the late Carl and Rosamond Lemley Sorrels.

He attended Atkins Public Schools and was an All-Conference and All-State selection in football, and an All-Conference selection in basketball.  Charlie played for his dad, Carl, who was inducted into the 2007 AHSCA Hall of Fame.  During his senior year, 1971, Atkins won the Class 1A state football championship.  Coach Carl Sorrels retired after that game.

Charlie attended Arkansas Tech University on a football scholarship and played one year of football and three years of baseball for the Wonder Boys.  He graduated from ATU in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education.

He had a 35-year coaching career, and served as the Atkins head coach for 24 years.  During that span, Atkins was 176-96-1 and won 8 conference titles and made 19 appearances in the state playoffs.  He also served as the Atkins head tennis coach for 20 years, winning 17 conference titles, 1 girls’ state title in 1995, and girls’ state runner-up in 1987 and 1993.  He also coached girls’ basketball, track, and golf.

He was named conference Coach of the Year in football several times, and was tennis Coach of the Year in 1987, 1993, 1995, and 2000, and the Southern Regional Coach of the Year in 2000. He served on the AHSCA All-Star coaching staff three times.   He was the 2010-11 recipient of the AHSCA Curt King Award, the 2016 AHSAAA Meritorious Service Award, and was twice named the Class 3A Athletic Director of the Year.   In 2013, the Atkins School District dedicated “Sorrels Stadium at Lemley Field.”

Sorrels was a member of the AHSCA Executive Committee and past president, and served as the executive director of ArFCA.  He retired from coaching after the 2010 football season, and retired as athletic director in 2016.  He was a member of the Atkins Memorial Presbyterian Church and attended Oak Grove Free Will Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Connie; 2 daughters, Jill and husband Matt Jones, and Katie and husband Mike Flory; 4 grandchildren, Konnor, J.C., Makali, and Addison; 2 brothers, Joe Sorrels and wife Susan, and Bill Sorrels and wife Mary Ann; mother-in-law, Lmurl Boren; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services are 2:00 PMMonday, January 16, at the Atkins High School Gymnasium with Rev. Mark Simmons and Rev. Jim Huffman officiating.  Burial is in Atkins City Cemetery under the direction of Lemley Funeral Service of Atkins.  Open visitation will be held from noon til 4:00 PMSunday, January 15, at the Atkins High School Gymnasium.

Pallbearers are Darrell Webb, Gary Childress, Bobby Hannon, Mark Coffman, Wendell Bradley, and Mark Gotcher.  Honorary pallbearers are members of the Atkins 1971 state champion football team, former Red Devil coaching staff members, and the executive committee of Arkansas High School Coaches Association.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in his honor may be made to the Atkins Red Devil Foundation, c/o Pat Duvall, Centennial Bank, P.O. Box 157, Atkins, AR, 72823

Online obituary and condolences are available at

Photo Credit: Joshua Mashon with The Courier


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