Archive for Thursday, September 7, 2006

Harris selected for NAIA Hall of Fame

September 7, 2006

Baker University Athletic Director Dan Harris was stunned by a letter he received from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics recently.

The letter explained how Harris was selected to be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in the Meritorious Category.

"I had just gotten back from a meeting in Lawrence and had received an NAIA letter in my mailbox at home," Harris said. "I opened it up and it was the announcement of my induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame. My first reaction to the letter was total shock and surprise."

Harris will be receiving the NAIA's highest honor and he is touched by his selection.

"It's a great honor," Harris said. "I have close relationships with others who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and I see the emotions involved with that. It is their highest honor."

Harris' son and Baldwin High School teacher, Kit Harris, knew nothing of the nomination until he received word of the selection from his father.

"I was really surprised on one hand," K. Harris said. "On the other hand, he really has given a lot of himself to Baker University and to the NAIA. This is just a wonderful tribute to him for all of the work he has put in."

D. Harris said he began to figure why Assistant Athletic Director Theresa Yetmar and his wife, Peggy Harris, had been asking him strange questions recently.

"I began to put pieces of the puzzle together," D. Harris said. "I know Theresa Yetmar, my wife and others have been asking me questions. Now I realize they were gathering information for the nomination packet."

D. Harris said one of his biggest accomplishments with the NAIA is helping create regions for postseason play. He was appointed as the Region V Chair six years ago, when the regions were created. He is now serving in his second term as Region V Chair.

"I think we have the model region in the nation," D. Harris said. "Region V is the region people look to in terms of organization, structure and our playoff system. I am very proud of that work."

D. Harris has also helped install the NAIA Champions of Character program at Baker.

"One of the things we've struggled with is really getting it sold on the campus," Harris said. "I think we are starting to slowly get that done. I have seen major changes in our students in the last two years."

The induction ceremony will take place during the NAIA national convention in March in Kansas City. D. Harris said he is ready for the ceremony, because he will be entering the Hall of Fame with some friends of his.

"I really am," D. Harris said. "My whole family is excited. They all want to be there. I hope to have a lot of friends and family there and really take the celebration in."

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