Carlton J. Kell High School is named in honor of Carlton “Corky” Kell, an esteemed coach and athletic director within the Cobb County School District. Coach Kell’s notable career began in 1965 when he established the girl’s basketball program at Wheeler High School. For eleven seasons, he led the girl’s basketball team and received recognition as the Girl’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 1972 from the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association.
Coach Kell’s most significant achievements lie in his excellence as the football coach at Wheeler High School, where he coached for eight seasons. His remarkable talent earned him the title of Georgia’s Football Coach of the Year four separate times, as acknowledged by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association. After concluding his coaching tenure, Coach Kell assumed the role of Athletic Director for the Cobb County School District until his retirement.
The selection of the Longhorn as the school’s mascot stemmed from the collaborative efforts of Mrs. Carole Kell and student representatives in February 2001. During the decision-making process, a graphic artist joined the meeting and crafted the official school logo. The aim was to create a unique and distinguishing mascot and logo for the school.
The Longhorn was chosen for several reasons: at the time, Kell High School stood as the sole institution in Georgia with a Longhorn mascot, ensuring its distinctiveness; the school’s color scheme was also unique, as no other high school in Georgia sported the same combination; the design of the logo itself, incorporating the initials “KHS,” showcased a creative and individual touch. Furthermore, the color “Texas Orange,” which closely resembled “Copper,” held significance as Corky Kell was born and laid to rest in Copper Hill, Tennessee. It is worth noting that Mr. and Mrs. Kell previously owned a farm in North Georgia where they raised cattle, including three Longhorn steers.