Howard coach taking year off

Howard University football coach Gary Harrell is taking a personal leave of absence for the 2013 season.

Howard announced Monday that Rayford Petty, the team’s associate head coach and defensive coordinator, will fill in as the interim head coach.

In a statement released by the school, Harrell says: ”My personal and family issues make it impossible for me to give … 100 percent, and anything less than that is unacceptable to me.”

Harrell says he will return as coach in 2014.

Howard went 7-4 last season, Harrell’s second as head coach.

Petty was Howard’s head coach from 2002-06.