More honors for BU’s Harris
Baker University Athletic Director Dan Harris has been selected as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Co-National Athletic Director of Year. Harris and fellow-award winner, Bruce Brown of Northwest College in Washington, will be recognized during an awards luncheon on Tuesday at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City. The luncheon culminates the three-day NAIA National Conference, Saturday through Tuesday, at the hotel.
Harris and Brown were selected for the award by a panel of their peers who serve on the board of the NAIA Athletic Directors Association. Harris, who also serves as chair of the Department of Physical Education at Baker, was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year in July.
Harris said the award is more of a reflection of the outstanding coaches and student-athletes at Baker, than of the work of one individual.
"It is always nice for your work to be recognized by peers," Harris said. "When I received the news from the NAIA office, my first thought was that this is an award the entire university can share. Baker has such a long tradition of great student-athletes and coaches. Many people helped build the foundation for the fine athletic programs that we have today and our programs have always had support from our top administrators."
Baker has won three Heart of America Athletic Conference All-Sports Awards. The university has never finished lower than third in the rankings of 11-team conference.
Harris said it would be especially nice to receive the award alongside his friend and colleague Bruce Brown. Both men have worked over the past year to promote the NAIA's Champions of Character initiative, both on their campuses and at the high school level.
Harris and his wife, Peggy, an associate professor of education, came to Baker in 1983. Harris served as head baseball coach, assistant football coach and taught in the departments of education and physical education. In 1991, he served as head football coach, during a sabbatical leave by Charlie Richard. The 1991 team finished 6-2-1 and shared the conference title. Harris' 1992 baseball team won the NAIA District 10 (Kansas) Championship, coming back from eight runs down to beat Kansas Newman in the championship game. Harris was named athletic director in 1995. The Harris' have two grown sons, both of whom are educators. Jay Harris is vice principal at Raymore-Peculiar High School in Missouri. Kit Harris teaches journalism and coaches wrestling at Baldwin High School.
Harris earned his bachelor's degree in physical education at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and his master's degree in education from Drury College in Springfield, Mo.