Athletics Coaching Staff
Student-Athlete Development Assistant
Kelly Harris enters her fourth year at Bucknell University in the Department of Athletics for the 2016-17 season in the newly created role of Student-Athlete Development Assistant. Supporting Lauren Wicklund and the Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute, Harris helps to develop various areas of the program while also working to improve academic enhancement and student services within the department.
Harris is no stranger to Bucknell, as she spent the previous three years as an assistant coach with the Bison women's rowing program. In the spring of 2016, Harris led the Second Varsity 8+ to the program’s first Patriot League Championship gold medal since 2011.
With 23 years of diverse involvement in the sport as a former Division I scholar-athlete along with Division I and Division III assistant and head coaching experience, Harris’ primary role provided invaluable leadership, support and assistance to seven-time Patriot League Champion head coach Stephen Kish regarding all aspects of developing the top end speed in the program.
In the 2014-15 campaign at Bucknell, Harris led the first-year program for recruited and novice scholar-athletes with a focus on both retention and success on the water and in the classroom. Harris developed and implemented the coxswain leadership development program and coordinated all team travel. Program highlights included first-ever wins for the Varsity 8+ against Dartmouth, Tennessee and Minnesota, as well as four Dad Vail silver medals and a runner-up team finish at the Patriot League Championships.
Harris spent her first season on the Bison staff in the fall of 2013 providing support throughout the novice program, before temporarily moving on to the University of Louisville to serve as an interim assistant for the 2014 spring season.
While at Louisville, Harris led the novice program while assisting head coach Derek Copeland with the varsity crews in their postseason. Louisville’s Novice 8+ posted a first-time win for the program over No. 1 Ohio State in the regular season, in addition to defeating other established programs such as Indiana, Notre Dame, and Cornell. Harris helped the Cardinals reach a record-breaking season, sweeping all events at the first American Athletic Conference Championship and winning their first team title. This catapulted the team to their first appearance at the 2014 NCAA DI Women’s Rowing Championships, where the team finished 17th overall.
Prior to her initial arrival at Bucknell in the summer of 2013, Harris served as the head women’s rowing coach at Marietta College for six years. Under the leadership of Harris, the 2011 and 2012 spring seasons proved to be Marietta’s most successful to date, with many program firsts to highlight. The varsity eight won back-to-back Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championships, placing it as the top boat in the conference. The win in 2011 afforded the crew its first bid in 12 years to the NCAA DIII National Rowing Championships held in Sacramento, Calif. (Marietta College attended the championship in 1999 before the split of divisions occurred in 2002). In 2012, the team won its first championship at the MARC, and a first-ever team bid (Varsity 8+ and 2nd Varsity 8+) to the NCAA Championships, where the Varsity 8+ finished fifth in the nation and the team finished sixth overall.
A 2001 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Harris was a four-year member and two-year co-captain of the team. During her rowing career at UNH, Harris rowed to a gold medal in the Varsity 8+ at the 1999 New England Championships and helped UNH win the Women's Points Trophy at the ECAC’s that same year.
In addition to her passion for the sport of rowing and growing female leaders, Harris is an accomplished ultramarathon distance runner. Harris placed eighth among all USATF female finishers in a time of 8:13:46 at her first 50-miler at the Tussey Mountainback Ultra in October 2016.
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