The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 9, 2010

Huggins tabs Harrison associate head coach

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins announced Thursday that assistant coach Larry Harrison has been named associate head coach.

“Larry has truly been an associate head coach for the past three years without the title,” Huggins said. “We worked very closely together for a long time at Cincinnati, so Larry obviously knows the ins and outs of what we do. Larry was a head coach for six years at Hartford, and we share the same recruiting contacts.

“He has been an invaluable member of our staff and in many ways the single biggest factor in our success. We felt the title is a fitting way to show our appreciation for all that he does.”

A native of Greenville, N.C., who grew up in Danbury, Conn., Harrison enters his fourth season on the staff this upcoming year after helping the Mountaineers to a 31-7 record, a Big East championship and a Final Four appearance.

“I’m thankful for the support and confidence that coach Huggins has in me,” Harrison said. “In just three years, we have been able to go to the Final Four and Sweet 16 along with a Big East title. I look forward to help bring a national championship to West Virginia.”

Harrison came to West Virginia from the Washington Wizards, where he served as a scout in 2006-07. He has more than 30 years of coaching experience.

Harrison served as head coach at Hartford from 2000-06, earning America East Coach of the Year honors in 2006. He led Hartford to a third-place conference finish in 2002, 2003 and 2006 and semifinals of the conference tournament in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Hartford had the nation’s second-best total win increase with four wins in 2001 to 14 wins in 2002.

Prior to Hartford, Harrison was an assistant under Pat Kennedy at DePaul for three seasons (1997-2000). He previously served as an assistant coach at Cincinnati (1989-97) under Huggins, including the last four as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

While at Cincinnati, Harrison assisted Huggins with the building of one of the most potent college basketball teams in the nation. During his eight years with the program, the Bearcats posted a 192-71 record and won six conference championships. At UC, Harrison recruited and coached future NBA players Nick Van Exel, Corie Blount, Dontonio Wingfield and 1997 NBA first-round draft pick Danny Fortson. He also recruited Ruben Patterson and Kenyon Martin, who was the consensus college basketball player of the year in 2001.

Known as one of the top recruiters in the nation, Harrison’s recruiting classes have been ranked among the best in the nation on a regular basis. His 1998 recruiting class at DePaul was ranked as the No. 1 class in the nation by The Sporting News. During his last four years at Cincinnati, three of the Bearcat recruiting classes were ranked in the top 10, including the Bearcats’ 1996 recruiting class, which was regarded as the best in the nation.

Since 1989, Harrison’s teams have earned 10 bids to the NCAA tournament and three NIT bids. During Harrison’s tenure, Cincinnati advanced to the Final Four once (1992) and Elite Eight twice (1993, 1996).

Prior to his stint at Cincinnati, Harrison was an assistant at American University from 1986-89. He was also an assistant coach at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., from 1984-86. He spent one season as an assistant coach at Henry Abbott Tech High (1978-79) in Danbury, Conn., and two seasons as an assistant at Jefferson High (1982-84) in Tampa.

Harrison earned all-state honors at Henry Abbott Tech (Danbury, Conn.) as a senior before enrolling at Muskingum College where he earned all-Ohio conference honors as a freshman. After graduating from Pitt in 1978 with a degree in urban studies, he went on to earn a master’s degree from USF in education in 1982.

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