Jim Harris former UAH athletic director to be Inducted into 2015 GSC Hall of Fame


Jim Harris former UAH Athletic Director

Michael Mercier | UAH

The Gulf South Conference (GSC) announced the 2015 Hall Of Fame class recently, and Jim Harris former Athletic Director (AD) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) was selected for the prestigious honor along with four other inductees.

"Jim Harris was a good man and a terrific AD," said UAH Director of Athletics Dr. E. J. Brophy. "UAH was darn lucky to have him for so long, and we miss him every day. He was a class act."

Harris became the director of athletics at UAH in 1995 and quickly established a dual tradition of winning and academic excellence.

Under Harris' administration, four UAH men's teams won Gulf South titles in baseball, men's cross country and men's soccer (twice), while on the women's side, 12 teams captured conference championships in cross country (four) and softball (eight).

Softball, a program Harris implemented, advanced to four Division II national championships, including two title games, and also under his stewardship, the Chargers won two national championships in men's ice hockey along with two College Hockey America titles.

"We are all thrilled to see Mr. Harris going into the GSC Hall of Fame," UAH head men's basketball coach Lennie Acuff said. "He was the driving force behind the growth of UAH Athletics and our success as a member of the GSC. Mr. Harris was a tireless worker who was totally committed to the Chargers and making the GSC the best Division II conference in the country."

Harris emphasized performance in the classroom as well as on the playing fields, resulting in numerous Chargers being selected for NCAA and GSC academic honors. During his tenure, 43 percent of UAH's student-athletes held a 3.0 or better grade point average, and he also started a night to honor the numerous Chargers who earned perfect 4.0 marks. Additionally, he implemented a fifth-year senior scholarship program to assist student-athletes in fulfilling their goals to graduate.

"Jim was an outstanding administrator," said UAH head softball coach Les Stuedeman. "Jim was a quiet and strong leader and was rock solid and consistent. He knew our limitations and insisted we would flourish in spite of them. His mantra was always 'just get it done'."

During Harris' 35-year athletics career, he served as the associate athletics director for external operations at Utah State University, as the assistant athletics director for development at Rice University and as a member of the development staff at The Ohio State University. He began his career as director of athletics development at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).

A 1971 graduate of BGSU, he later earned a certificate from the Sports Management Institute. Harris passed away in December 2010.

The second GSC Hall of Fame class will be officially inducted on Wednesday, June 24, in Miramar Beach, FL, at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

Candidates for the Hall of Fame were limited to athletics department staffs at a GSC member institution for a minimum of five years, GSC office staff members for a minimum of five years, and former GSC student-athletes who competed at the nominating institution for a minimum of two years and completed their last season of competition no less than five years ago. Each GSC member institution was able to nominate one candidate in each category with a maximum of two inductees.



K. Taylor Flatt