Booker Harris named new basketball coach at Dominican

Booker T. Harris, a member of the USF Dons’ NCAA Division I tournament team in 1998 who was the top assistant coach for NCAA Div. II perennial powerhouse Metro State in Denver the past two seasons, has been named the new men’s head basketball coach at Dominican University of California, the University announced May 17.

Booker Harris (Brandon's Picture)“We are delighted to welcome Booker to Dominican to help this institution’s student-athletes build a championship in men’s basketball in the Pacific West Conference,” Dominican President Joseph R. Fink said. “With Booker’s reputation and his experience in every aspect of college basketball, we believe he is the right person to push the Penguins forward to the next level.”

Harris, 34, has been involved with multiple championship teams at the NCAA Div. I and NCAA Div. II levels from the West Coast Conference to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

“Booker has a wealth of experience with players at various levels of play, from prep athletes to competitive Division I programs,” said Dominican Athletics Director Terry Tumey. “As we move Dominican Basketball to a more competitive level, we will need a coach that has experienced success in recruiting and on the court in Division II to move us forward.”

“I want to thank President Fink and Terry Tumey for this great opportunity. I am eager and excited to get to work and build upon the success that Dominican basketball has seen in the past,” Harris said. “The opportunity to return home to the Bay Area and have my family close by is a dream come true.”

In his two seasons at Metro State, Harris helped the Roadrunners to a 46-15 record and two NCAA Div. II appearances.  Last season, Metro State lost by four points in the NCAA Central Region semifinals to top-seeded Minnesota State on Mavericks’ home floor in Mankato. Minnesota State (28-5) lost to eventual NCAA Div. II tournament champion Bellarmine in the NCAA Div. II Elite Eight.

Metro State, which won NCAA national titles in 2000 and 2002, is the winningest men’s basketball program in NCAA Div. II history. The Roadrunners have an all-time NCAA tournament record of 30-13 in 15 trips. Metro State currently has 13 players competing in professional basketball in the United States and abroad.

Before Metro State, Harris spent two seasons as Director of Basketball Operations at NCAA Div. I University of San Diego. In 2008, the Toreros won the WCC tournament and upset UConn in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Harris also was a member of a championship team at Cal State San Bernardino where he was an assistant coach for four seasons when the Coyotes compiled an 86-28 record, setting a California Collegiate Athletic Association record with six consecutive conference titles. In 2006-07, San Bernardino won the NCAA West Region and advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Div. II tournament.

In 2002-03, Harris was the strength and conditioning coach at NCAA Div. I Long Beach State. He began his coaching career in 2001-02 as an assistant coach at Sonoma State University where he earned his master’s degree in Business Administration.

A two-time member of the WCC’s All-Academic team, Harris played for Coach Phil Mathews at USF where he graduated in 1999. The 6-foot-1 guard played three seasons for the Dons and was a member of USF’s WCC tournament championship team in 1998. The Dons lost in the opening round of the NCAA tournament that year to Utah, which played all the way to the NCAA tournament championship game.

Harris, a native of San Francisco, went to USF from Bridgemont High School, a private Christian college preparatory school in Daly City. At Bridgemont, Harris averaged nearly 28 points a game in his senior year playing for Booker Harris Sr., his father. The USF-bound guard left Bridgemont as the school’s all-time leading scorer until his younger brother, Eddy, surpassed him three years later. Eddy is currently an assistant coach at Skyline Junior College in San Bruno.

In the summer, Harris has organized and coached at many youth basketball camps, including a Golden State Warriors camp at Redwood High School in Larkspur in 1999. He also competed in the San Francisco Pro/Am League and in the Drake High School Summer Basketball League in San Anselmo.