June 14, 2011
Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin completed his full-time staff Tuesday, announcing that he has hired Marco Harris and Mark Pancratz in support staff roles. Harris will serve as the program's student-athlete welfare coordinator. Pancratz, who has been with the program in various capacities since the 2006-07 season, holds the title of coordinator of video scouting.
Harris' relationship with 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 will work with Tennessee's basketball student-athletes to ensure that they perform at the highest level on the court, in the classroom and as members of the community. He will function as the program's liaison to the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center as well as the housing, admissions and financial aid offices.
"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."
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.
Pancratz, 28, already boasts 18 games of NCAA Tournament experience as a player and/or administrative staff member.
After spending his first two seasons on Rocky Top as a graduate assistant, Pancratz held the title of video coordinator during the 2008-09 season before assuming an administrative assistant role in the summer of 2009. For the past two years, Pancratz also has served as the program's liaison to UT's athletic marketing and development offices.
As coordinator of video scouting, Pancratz's responsibilities include oversight of all the staff's video editing needs and assisting with on-campus recruiting. He also is the men's basketball camp director and will continue to serve as the program's liaison to various branches of the campus and athletic department.
"Mark's been a mainstay in this program for the past five years," Martin said. "He's done a great job building relationships, assuming administrative roles and helping assistant coaches with video preparation. He brings a contagious energy, enthusiasm and work ethic to our office every day. I know he'll be very successful."
A native of Schaumburg, Ill., Pancratz was a four-year letterwinner at UW-Milwaukee. In 2005, Pancratz played a key role in helping the Panthers advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2001, Pancratz led Schaumburg High School to one of the biggest upsets in Illinois high school basketball history with a 20-point, 10-assist effort in beating a Thornwood team that featured future NBA Draft pick Eddy Curry in the Class AA championship game.
Pancratz was inducted into the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and was voted as one of the 100 Legends of Illinois High School Basketball.
He graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2006 with a degree in Marketing and finance before receiving his master's in Sports management from Tennessee in 2008.
Pancratz is married to the former Brooke Waddell, of Greeneville, Tenn., and the couple welcomed a daughter, Charli, in October 2010.
Harris and Pancratz round out Martin's full-time basketball staff, which also includes assistant coaches Tracy Webster, Jon Harris (no relation to Marco) and Kent Williams and director of basketball operations Houston Fancher.