The Harrison File
Larry Harrison, a former assistant under Bob Huggins at Cincinnati, enters his third season as an assistant coach at West Virginia University.
“Larry really brings a lot to the table,” says Huggins. “He’s one of the better recruiters in the country and has contacts in areas where our current staff does not. He knows our current system very well and he’s an excellent instructor on the floor. He’s a great teacher of the game.”
Harrison came to West Virginia from the Washington Wizards, where he served as a scout in 2006-07. He has more than 25 years of coaching experience.
Harrison served as head coach at Hartford from 2000-06, earning America East Coach of the Year honors in 2006. He led Hartford to a third-place conference finish in 2002, 2003 and 2006 and semifinals of the conference tournament in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Hartford had the nation’s second-best total win increase from 2001 to 2002 with four wins in 2001 to 14 wins in 2002.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to coach at West Virginia University and reuniting back with Coach Huggins,” says Harrison. “I know West Virginia University is excited about Coach Huggins being here and we’re looking forward to building championships.”
Prior to Hartford, Harrison was an assistant under head coach Pat Kennedy at DePaul for three seasons (1997-2000). He previously served as an assistant coach at Cincinnati (1989-97) under Huggins, including the last four as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.
While at Cincinnati, Harrison assisted Huggins with the building of one of the most potent college basketball teams in the nation. During his eight years with the program, the Bearcats posted a 192-71 record and won six conference championships. At UC, Harrison recruited and coached future NBA players Nick Van Exel, Corie Blount, Dontonio Wingfield and 1997 NBA first round draft pick Danny Fortson. He also recruited Ruben Patterson and Kenyon Martin, who was the consensus college basketball player of the year in 2001.
Known as one of the top recruiters in the nation, Harrison’s recruiting classes have been ranked among the best in the nation on a regular basis. His 1998 recruiting class at DePaul was ranked as the No. 1 class in the nation by The Sporting News. During his last four years at Cincinnati, three of the Bearcat recruiting classes were ranked in the top 10, including the Bearcats’ 1996 recruiting class, which was regarded as the best in the nation.
Since 1989, Harrison’s teams have earned seven bids to the NCAA tournament and three NIT bids. During Harrison’s tenure, Cincinnati advanced to the Final Four once (1992) and Elite Eight twice (1993, 1996).
Prior to his stint at Cincinnati, Harrison was an assistant at American University in Washington, D.C., from 1986-89. He was also an assistant coach at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., from 1984-86. He spent one season as an assistant coach at Henry Abbott Tech High (1978-79) in Danbury, Conn., and two seasons as an assistant at Jefferson High (1982-84) in Tampa.
Harrison earned all-state honors at Henry Abbott Tech (Danbury, Conn.) as a senior before enrolling at Muskingum College where he earned all-Ohio conference honors as a freshman. After graduating from Pitt in 1978 with a degree in urban studies, he went on to earn a master’s degree from USF in education in 1982.
A native of Greenville, N.C., who grew up in Danbury, Conn., Harrison has two daughters, Nyree and Tiffany.