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Avery Harrison has seen a lot of things in his 19 years of being a women's basketball head coach in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).
Harrison has coached 37 ACAC All-stars, nine All-Canadians, two ACAC Players of the Year, two Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Players of the Year and one would think he had seen it all.
That was until this season, when he was presented a first in his ACAC career- coaching a player he first coached 10 years ago.
Third year St. Mary's University Lightning post Kassandra Harkema was recruited by Harrison in 2005 to play for the SAIT Trojans.
Harkema, 28, now in her second year with the Lightning, has been reunited with Harrison, who joined Lightning women's basketball squad as an assistant coach this summer.
"Avery was a key part of my development as a player and having him on the bench again brings me back to the amazing first year I had with him," she said.
After reaching the post-season last season, head coach Shoults is hungry for a top-three finish this year in the ACAC South Division, and knows Harrison can lend a hand in making that happen.
Harrison comes to the Lightning with quite an impressive list of accolades, including four ACAC and two CCAA championships.He's been named Coach of the Year four times by the ACAC, most recently in 2014 with Lethbridge College, and was named coach of the year by the CCAA in consecutive years (2000, 2001).
"Avery brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program.
Avery HarrisonAvery Harrison is currently the Coordinator of Intramurals at SAIT.He has been a physical education instructor at SAIT since 1984 and has seen countless improvements in the department over that time period. Avery sat on several committees in the ACAC including the Eligibility, Awards and Women's Sport Committees, and served as the Women's Basketball Convener from1999-2001.He has also been part the women's athletic team room renovations; sat on the Field house development committee; served as the academic advisor for athletics; oversaw the development of the Intramurals website; developed an Intramurals marketing plan and brochure; and led the development of the Adopt A Trojan program.
An alumnus of the University of Calgary, he graduated in 1985.
He began coaching at SAIT in February of 1984, and began teaching in the Fall of 1984.After 6 years as an Assistant Coach in both the men's and women's basketball programs he was named the head coach of the women's team in 1990.He recently stepped back from coaching at SAIT to spend more time with family.
Born in Olds Alberta, he has two daughters, Tiffany and Courtney.
Avery Harrison, an accomplished veteran coach, will lead the Lethbridge College Kodiaks women's basketball team through the 2010-11 season.
Harrison, assistant coach of the Mount Royal University Cougars for the last two seasons, has 25 years of experience in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and is a former coach of the year in both the ACAC (1991-92, 1997-98) and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (1998-99, 2001-02).He was head coach at SAIT for 14 years, where he also served as assistant athletics director, winning two national championships with the Trojans.His teams have played in 14 post-seasons and reached the national finals eight times.
He replaces Brad Karren, long-time Kodiaks coach, who recently resigned to spend more time with his family.
Interestingly, the Kodiaks open their season Oct. 22 and 23 with back-to-back games against SAIT.
"It would be a challenge to coach the Kodiaks with their outstanding history, but the challenge of maintaining that image and to improve on it is simply too much to pass up," says Harrison, a believer in strong recruiting, fair play and community involvement.
Harrison is also a perfect fit with the Kodiaks' renewed emphasis on academic performance; at SAIThe served as athletics academic advisor.
"I expect a smooth transition for the returning players and new recruits with the wealth of basketball experience Avery will bring to the position," says Dean.
Avery Harrison, assistant athletic director for the SAIT Trojans, says the club has been struggling to maintain a team in the men's, women's and mixed divisions, and have lacked in the coaching area as well.
"We never had any consistency in coaching," Harrison said.
"Our sports are really student's driven," Harrison says.
The curling team will remain a club team unless student participation increases enough to justify entering it into the ACAC league.
"There won't be an ACAC curling team at this point," Harrison said.
If you are a former Trojans Basketball player, please contact Avery Harrison at 403-284-7147 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Basketball Alumni currently hosts an annual basketball tournament in fall of each year.
If you are interested in more information or would like to receive details on upcoming events, please contact Avery.
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