FAMU Basketball Moves Ahead Without Harris

After the recent dismissal of Florida A&M basketball coach, Eugene Harris, the athletic department is looking for his replacement.

According to Athletic Director, Derek Horne, preparations are being made immediately for the selection process of a new coach. Horne said a new selection committee is being assembled carefully.

“We want the public to know that we really are trying to build a product that our fans can continue to enjoy and be proud of,” Horne said. “We have placed an ad and we are accepting applications right now. We are looking for selection committee candidates that know what we’re looking for. We want a coach who will be a strong recruiter, get involved with the community, help us fundraise and most importantly, get our program to a highly competitive level.”

Since the ordeal, many Rattler fans wondered about the players’ feelings toward the change.

Freshman guard Avery Moore was optimistic and positive about the decision made, but said playing for his first collegiate coach wasn’t as bad as the public made it seem.

“I enjoyed playing for coach Harris while the time lasted. The athletic director made a move that was best for the organization and each of us players. It’s going to be kind of weird getting use to a new coach, but me and my team will stick it out and grind it out–together.” Moore said. “Hopefully the new head coach will come in and connect with each player, and introduce a system that will allow us to win some more games and move in a more positive direction.”

The team ended its 2010-2011 season with a 12-20 record. The Rattlers tournament journey ended early, as they were bested in the MEAC Tournament by Maryland-Eastern Shore in the first round.

Harris will be on administrative leave for the remainder of his five-year contract, which ended during his fourth season. He is still owed $150,000 and will stay on official leave until June 10.

Assistant coach Maurice “Tony” Sheals will be in charge of the team’s everyday practices until a decision is made for a permanent coach.

Horne expressed his concern for the community to stand by the team and remain supportive of the program.

“We have a great group of kids coming back. We want you to come out and support not only the coach, but our players that have been putting themselves out there on the line for you the last two-to-three years,” Horne said.