Huskers Add Chris Harriman to Basketball Coaching Staff
Lincoln - University of Nebraska Basketball Coach Tim Miles announced Friday the addition of Chris Harriman to the Husker basketball coaching staff.
Harriman has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Saint Louis University working under the tutelage of Rick Majerus. During his tenure, the Billikens posted a pair of 20-win seasons, including a 26-8 mark in 2011-12 that culminated into a third-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
"Chris is a great fit for our staff," Miles said. "He gives us an excellent coach and a proven recruiter, and his experiences from his playing days in college and in Australia and coaching experience enhance the staff we have put together here at Nebraska. He's been well groomed working for the legendary Rick Majerus at Saint Louis University. So you know he understands player development and game planning as well as anybody in the business."
"I'm excited about finalizing our staff," Miles said. "We have the right guys on the bus, now we need to figure out who sits in what seat and proceed from there."
Last year, the Billikens won 26 games, finishing second in the Atlantic-10 Conference with a 12-4 mark and earning the program's first NCAA Tournament bid since 2000. SLU ranked in the top 25 nationally in four categories, including scoring defense (57.6, eighth), scoring margin (11.1, 14th), turnover margin (+3.5, 16th) and turnovers per game (11.2, 25th) and received the program's first national ranking since 1994. SLU downed Memphis, 61-54, for the program's first NCAA win since 1995 before falling to No. 1 seed Michigan State, 65-61 in the third round.
The longest-tenured member of Majerus' SLU staff, Harriman filled in as head coach for a game last March when Majerus was hospitalized and guided the Billikens to a 75-60 win at Duquesne, a victory that clinched second place in the Atlantic-10.
A native of Sydney, Australia, his recruiting ties helped SLU land highly-regarded players, including top Australian players Cody Ellis and Christian Salecich, and New Zealand's Rob Loe. In fact, Harriman played a lead role in recruiting four of SLU's top seven scorers in 2011-12.
Prior to SLU, Harriman served for four years as an assistant coach at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla. He worked under head coach Gary Tuell, his college coach at Augusta State, in August 2004. Harriman was instrumental in recruiting student-athletes to NSU and established a strong coaching reputation in Australia.
Joining a rebuilding NSU program, Harriman helped the Sharks post 48 victories during his tenure. A 17-win season in 2005-06 was the biggest turnaround in 15 years in Division II basketball. In 2007-08, he helped Tim Coenraad earn first-team NABC All-South Region honors before joining the SLU staff in July of 2008.
As a player, Harriman had a short stint in his homeland Australia's National Basketball League in 1997-98 with a traditional league power, the Sydney Kings. He moved to the United States and attended Augusta State (Ga.) University.
Harriman tallied 627 points and 375 assists in his playing career at ASU and was named league Player of the Week in January 2003. As a senior, he led the Peach Belt Conference in steals. Harriman led ASU to two NCAA Division II Tournaments and one PBC North Division title, and he was a part of 78 victories.
After graduating from Augusta State in 2003, Harriman played the 2003-04 season with the Hunter Valley Pirates in the NBL and was runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors. After his professional playing career, Harriman joined the coaching staff at Nova Southeastern.
A native of Sydney, Australia, Harriman and his wife, Cheryl, have a son, Avery, and a daughter, Kacee.
Harriman's appointment completes the Husker basketball coaching staff, joining assistant coaches Ben Johnson and Craig Smith. In addition, Miles announced Friday that Ronald Coleman has been named Director of Player Development for the Husker basketball program. Coleman has been a part of the Husker staff since coming from Colorado State in early April.