Marco Harris joined the Tennessee basketball staff in June 2011 as the program's student-athlete welfare coordinator and is now in his third season on Rocky Top.
Harris' relationship with Vols head coach Cuonzo Martin dates back more than 30 years, as both hail from East St. Louis, Ill. Harris began his college career as a baseball player at Southern Illinois University but transferred to Southwestern Oklahoma State to play basketball after one season on the diamond in Carbondale. He developed into the starting point guard at SWOSU from 1992-94 and also served as a team captain.
Harris works with Tennessee's basketball student-athletes to ensure they perform at the highest level on the court, in the classroom and as members of the community. He functions as the program's liaison to the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center as well as the housing, admissions and financial aid offices.
In the spring of 2013, basketball's 2.63 team GPA was the program's highest since the data started being recorded in 2003.
"Marco and I grew up together, and he's like a brother to me," Martin said. "He's got a genuine passion for developing young men and making sure they reach their full potential on and off the court. His years of experience working in public school systems demonstrate that he's drawn to helping young people meet life's challenges and overcome adversity."
In his first season with the Vols, Harris' efforts resulted in the team winning UT's men's Community Outreach Team of the Year Award. Additionally, two Vols were named to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll, and the team posted its highest combined Fall GPA in five years.
Over the past decade, Harris has enjoyed success both as a private business owner and as a high school and AAU basketball coach. He has owned and operated a Subway Restaurant in Sand Springs, Okla., since 1999. He also has held various teaching, coaching and athletic administration positions during that time.
His most recent coaching position was at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. As the assistant boys' varsity coach in 2010, Harris helped guide the Hornets to the Oklahoma Class 5A state championship. Harris took over as interim varsity head coach from January to March of 2011 and led the program to a second consecutive OSSAA state title. The Hornets finished the 2011 season with a perfect 21-0 record--despite not playing a single game in its home gym due to construction--and a 25-game win streak dating to the 2010 campaign.
In 2005, Harris was an assistant boys' basketball coach at Nathan Hale Magnet High School in Tulsa. As a head coach on the summer circuit, Harris led the Tulsa Titans from 2004-06 as well as the "Playing with a Purpose" program from 2006-09. His 2008 "Playing with a Purpose" squad captured the Mid America Youth Basketball (MAYB) National Championship.
At the administrative level, Harris held the title of athletic director at Tulsa's Monroe and Gilcrease Middle Schools from 2000-05. He also has held various teaching positions with the Tulsa and St. Louis public schools systems. From 1995-96, Harris worked with St. Louis Arc, helping mentally disabled young men and women develop work and life skills.
Harris received an associate's degree in Business management from Southwestern Illinois College in 1992 before going on to earn his bachelor's degree in Business management at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1994.
Harris is married to the former Ramona Knight, of Frogville, Okla.