It took just one season in Columbus for Simon Harris to move from an assistant coach to a head coach.
Harris, who joined Ohio State’s staff ahead of the 2020-21 season, was announced as the new Eastern Tennessee State head coach Friday, the first head coaching job in his career.
Harris came to the Buckeyes after two seasons as an assistant coach at N.C. State, his alma mater. There, he helped the Wolfpack reach the Sweet 16 in 2018-19 following a 21-0 start. A year later, he was part of N.C. State’s first ACC tournament title since 1991, which was part of a 28-4 campaign.
Prior to his time with N.C. State, Harris was at Dayton, first coaching with Archie Miller on the men’s basketball team before moving over to the women’s team, helping the Flyers to three NCAA tournament appearances in four seasons as an assistant, including one run to the Elite Eight in 2015.
“I was actually one of the rare people who actually wanted to coach women’s basketball young,” Harris told BSB ahead of this past season. “I was very fortunate to be around Coach (Kay) Yow here at N.C. State growing up from the age of 9 really into my college career, and unfortunately she passed. When I was about 12 years old, she said something about me coaching, and that always resonated with me.
“When the job opened with Coach (Jim) Jabir at the time, he kind of went like, ‘Hey, would you ever consider coaching women’s basketball?’ I said, ‘Absolutely. I will go grab my stuff and be right back.’ ”
Harris will be taking over an Eastern Tennessee State team that struggled mightily this past season, finishing the 2020-21 campaign with a 4-16 record, though the team did manage an upset victory over No. 1 seed Samford in the Southern Conference tournament.
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