Paul Harrison joined Nathan Davis' first Bison coaching staff in April 2015, and he has helped Bucknell raise banners in each of his first three seasons in Lewisburg.
Bucknell has captured Patriot League regular-season titles in each of Harrison's three campaigns, and in 2017 and 2018 the Bison followed with Patriot League Tournament titles and automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament. In 2016-17, the Bison toppled arch-rival Lehigh 81-65 in the PL championship game. The Bison finished 26-9 overall, 15-3 in the Patriot League, and dropped a hard-fought 86-80 decision to fourth-seeded West Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Buffalo.
This season, Bucknell went 16-2 in Patriot League play, then toppled Loyola, Boston University and Colgate in the Patriot League Tournament, winning the final two games by a combined 60 points.
Harrison works with the Bucknell post players, and he has mentored each of the last two Patriot League Players of the Year. Nana Foulland was the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, and Zach Thomas earned Player of the Year honors in 2018 after leading the league in both scoring and rebounding.
Harrison came to Bucknell with 14 years of experience as a college basketball coach, primarily as an assistant coach at some very successful Division I mid-major programs. For the previous two seasons, Harrison was the head coach at Clayton State in Georgia. He inherited a team in rebuilding mode with only six players on the roster, and in his second year in 2014-15 led the squad to a winning season (15-12) and a spot in the Division II regional rankings during the year.
Prior to his head-coaching stint at Clayton State, Harrison spent six years as an assistant coach, including the last two as associate head coach, at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. During his time at Wofford under head coach Mike Young, the Terriers compiled a 111-85 record and a 74-47 mark in the Southern Conference. Wofford captured consecutive league titles in 2010 and 2011, and in the NCAA Tournament lost close games to Wisconsin (53-49) in 2010 and BYU (74-66) in 2011. After graduating five seniors from the 2011 championship team, Wofford came back the next season and won 19 games, including a victory over Wake Forest, and participated in the CBI postseason tournament.
A 1993 graduate of Washington & Lee University, Harrison had two tours at College of Charleston, first as a graduate assistant from 1996-98 and then as a full-time assistant from 1999-2001. Working under head coach John Kresse, the Cougars won league titles in all four of Harrison’s seasons in Charleston, compiling an overall record of 99-22 and a 63-11 mark in league play in the Trans America Athletic Conference and the Southern Conference. In 1997, the Cougars were ranked as high as No. 16 nationally and defeated Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Harrison also had one-year stops as an assistant coach at Long Island (1998-99) and Southeastern Louisiana (2005-06). In 2001, he took a break from coaching to attend law school, and he earned his Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School in May 2004. Harrison practiced law in New Orleans and also helped out as an assistant coach at Metairie Park Country Day School before returning to the collegiate coaching ranks.
Harrison and his wife, Heather, have two children, Grace and Henry.