Resevist named coach of the year

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Paul Haley
  • 446th Airlift Wing
Stan Harris, a master sergeant with the 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron here, has been named All Area Coach of the Year by the Tacoma News Tribune.
A high-school gym teacher and basketball coach in Tacoma, Harris’ boys basketball team at Franklin-Pierce High School went undefeated this year in the Seamount League. The team posted the best win-loss record in school history, leading to the award, said Harris.
His road to coach of the year began four years ago when he took over as head coach at the school. Harris set a goal with his team to go to the Washington State 3A Boys Basketball Championship.
“This is the first time I’ve had everyone on the team from the time they were freshman until they were seniors,” he said. “We had a goal of going to state in four years, and the boys held to that.”
Harris said skills he has gained in the Air Force Reserve contribute to his off-duty achievements.
“Being a substance abuse counselor (in the Air Force Reserve) definitely helps. Substance abuse is something you have to deal with all the time when working with high schoolers,” he said. “There’s also the discipline and coordination you get from the military.”
On the other hand, being a coach and gym teacher also helps him in his military career, said Harris. Motivational techniques used on the court apply directly to supervising people in the Reserve. The energy he receives from working with young men helps keep him motivated.
“They keep you young, but they make you lose your hair,” he joked.
It’s his leadership skills, not lack of hair, that sets Harris apart, according to his school’s principal.
“Stan Harris is a dynamic leader at Franklin Pierce High School, whether it be on the basketball court, (in) his classes, or his many interactions with students around campus,” said Eric Hogan, Franklin Pierce High School principal.
“He is committed to helping students build and refine quality character and acquire academic achievement. I am proud to have him as one of our teachers,” Hogan added.
Harris said without the help of his outstanding assistant coach and team, as well as support from his squadron, he wouldn’t have received the award.
The unit supported Harris by allowing him to reschedule UTA weekends when they conflict with games, and the commander keeps the unit up to date during commander’s calls with his team’s successes. Additionally, members of his squadron would come to the games to cheer on the team, he said.
Harris has been coaching for 12 years, eight years at Franklin-Pierce and four at Charles-Wright Academy in Tacoma, and has been named league coach of the year four times previously.