Harris named MSU women’s assistant

BOZEMAN — Montana Tech graduate Nathaniel Harris, who has served the past three seasons as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Montana State Billings, has been tabbed as an assistant coach at Montana State, Bobcat head coach Tricia Binford announced on Wednesday.

Harris, who played a major role in helping the Yellowjackets to a NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearance this winter, helped lead MSUB to its first ever Great Northwest Athletic Conference title and a 25-8 overall record. The Yellowjackets ended the season with a 15-3 GNAC mark, the best in school history.

“We are thrilled to have a Montana native who has such enthusiasm for the game join our program,” Binford said. “Nate has a great style of coaching, strong basketball mind, and he will be a terrific addition to our staff and players.

“What impressed me most, when talking with Kevin Woodin (MSU Billings Head Coach) about Nate, was his hunger to help the program and student-athletes succeed on and off the court,” Binford said. “Nate did an outstanding job contributing the past three seasons in making MSU Billings a championship program.”

At MSUB, Harris was responsible for defensive game planning, practice time, strategy and in game decisions. The Yellowjackets finished the 2013-14 campaign ranked first in scoring margin, points allowed, defensive field goal percentage, rebound margin and defensive rebound rate. MSUB was also second in the GNAC in overall defensive efficiency.

“My family and I are so excited for this opportunity,” Harris said. “We loved our time in Billings, but the chance to join a special program like the one Coach Binford and her staff have built in an athletic department as successful as Montana State’s was too good to pass by. I can’t wait to work closely with these young women as we chase Big Sky Championships.”

Prior to his time at MSUB, Harris was an assistant coach for the men’s program at Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, California. He was the recruiting coordinator and head assistant coach for a Fresno Pacific team that won 20 games and finished fourth in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Harris was also very involved in scheduling, film exchange, travel, player development, on court coaching, game strategy, and opponent scouting.

Prior to his tenure at Fresno Pacific, Harris began his coaching career at Montana Tech. He was there for three years and started as an assistant in 2007. He was promoted to head assistant coach in 2008 and held this position until 2010. In the absence of a head coach in the spring of 2010, Harris took over all aspects of the program until a new head coach was hired.

During his time at Montana Tech, Harris had a major role in all aspects of coaching and recruiting, and helped the team climb from 8th place in the conference standings his first year to a 7th place finish in his last season. He also saw all of the seniors who went through Montana Tech during his tenure graduate.

In addition to his basketball coaching duties at Montana Tech, Harris also served as the head men’s and women’s golf coach.

Originally from Ronan, Harris played basketball at Montana Tech and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He has worked at basketball camps all across the country including the University of Montana, Duke and Stanford, and also served as the Youth Director of the Montana-based Camp of Champions from 2002-2010.

Harris, and his wife Elise, have two daughters, Henley and Harper. He will begin his duties at Montana State the end of May.

— MSU Sports Information 

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