|Mailing Address: Nebraska Track & Field|
1631 Court Street Lincoln, NE 68588-0637
Phone: (402) 472-6468
Fax: (402) 472-9361
David Harris is entering his first season as the Huskers' distance coach. Harris takes over for Jay Dirksen who retired after 28 seasons as Nebraska's distance coach and head cross country coach.
Harris already has ties to Nebraska, as he coached NU's middle distance runners and the men's sprinters and hurdlers for seven years before becoming the head cross country and track and field coach at Emporia State in 1992. While at Nebraska, Harris coached many student-athletes to records that still stand including the women's outdoor 800 meters (Sharon Powell), the men's outdoor 400 meters (Ken Waller), the 1,000 meteres (Dieudonne Kwizera), the 400-meter hurdles (Mark Jackson) and the 4x400-meter relay.
As the Hornets' head coach for 19 years, Harris was named MIAA Coach of the Year 11 times and brought Emporia State to the top of the Division II ranks, as the men's squad finished fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season.
One of the most respected coaches in the track and field community, Harris was the first non-Division I president in the history of the USTFCCCA. The leadership and direction of Harris was essential in bringing the NCAA Outdoor Championships to the Flint Hills in 1995, 1999 and again in 2006.
Emporia State won 10 MIAA team championships under Harris and had 20 runner-up finishes. In 1999 he became only the third coach to lead both the men's and women's teams to MIAA outdoor titles in the same season. The ESU women earned the school's first top-four finish nationally with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Emporia in 1999. It was the second of three national championship meets at Witten Track/Welch Stadium held under Harris' leadership.
Harris has served in numerous leadership roles within the USTFCCCA and has earned two prestigious awards. He was named the 2001 USTCA Women's NCAA Division II National Outdoor Coach of the Year and was most recently awarded the Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award by the USTFCCCA. He is the former Division II Executive Council Chairman and was the first non-Division I President of the USTFCCCA, serving in that role from 2005-06 and leading the association through its reorganization in 2005.
Harris received his bachelor's degree in physical education/social science and a master's degree in athletic administration from Truman State, formerly Northeast Missouri State University. At TSU, he was a four-year letterman in cross country and track and field and captained the track team for two years.
After college, Harris joined the elite section of the St. Louis Track Club sponsored by adidas. From 1979 to 1981 he ran seven marathons with a personal-best of 2:19.54 in New Orleans. At the 1979 Boston Marathon, he qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials with a time of 2:20.46. Harris retired from competitive road racing in 1981 to concentrate fully on coaching.Harris is married to the former Kathy Bechhold, and the couple have two sons, John-David and Jared.