Harris Added to Men's Basketball Staff

Eugene Harris has been hired as assistant men's basketball coach at the University of Alabama. The hiring was announced Monday by Crimson Tide head coach Mark Gottfried in a press release.

Harris was most recently an assistant athletic director at Auburn, where his position was eliminated in February in a re-organization of the athletics department.

"Eugene brings experience, having been in the ACC and SEC for 17 years," said Gottfried whose staff had a position become available when Orlando Early was hired as head coach at Louisiana-Monroe on April 11th.

"As a Scottsboro, Alabama native, his relationships with coaches in this state and the southeast are invaluable. He has always been part of building a winner, and I am confident he will add to the success we have had here at Alabama. I have known Eugene for more than 20 years and have always been impressed by his demeanor. He is professional and driven and has a warmth and sincerity that all combine for the makings of a great college coach. He defines the word 'class'. He has recruited and produced a number of NBA players and has been instrumental in their development as people as well as players. He has a 90 percent graduation rate of the players he's personally recruited. He will be a great asset on the bench as well as in practice with his maturity and experience in game situations."

Harris, 50, has coached basketball at all levels, as a junior high coach in Florida, as a head coach at Pelham High School in Pelham, Ga., and at Rickard High School in Tallahassee, Fla., and on the collegiate level at the University of South Alabama, as assistant coach at Clemson from 1984-94 and as an assistant coach at Auburn from 1994 until 2001 when he was named assistant athletics director for special projects.

"I'm excited to come and work for Coach Gottfried because he's a coach who is a star," said Harris, a 1979 Florida State graduate. "In a short while, he's been to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. Our next step up is to win the national championship. That's the reason I came here. The Athletics Director, Mal Moore, is committed to basketball and I know I will love working for Coach Gottfried because I've watched him out in the field and he's a fearless worker. And the thing that really sold me on this is his 100 percent graduation rate. That shows that he's committed to the total person."

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