October 1, 2010
American Basketball Coach Bill Harris Appointed To Lead Indian Sr. Men’s National Team
William R. Harris has been appointed as the head coach for the Indian Sr. Men’s Basketball team for the 16th Asian Games slated to be held in November. Harris will be working with the Indian team in Chennai before leading them for the Games, which will be held in Guangzhou (China) from November 12-27.
Harris was appointed coach by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) following a comprehensive search by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) for coaches in the U.S., and after interviewing several candidates, Harris was selected. The National Basketball Association (NBA) assisted BFI in identifying potential U.S. coaching candidates. Harris will also be supported by IMG-Reliance who is in partnership to support BFI in developing basketball in India.
Harris has over 30 years of experience as a head coach in the game of basketball across several institutions in the US. His most-recent previous appointment was with Wheaton College (1991-2009), where he had tremendous success posting the highest career winning percentage as a head coach in the institution’s history (68.4 percent) and a career record of 320-148. He was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1996 and IBCA College Coach of the Year three times (1999, 2008, 2009). He has produced seven players who have played basketball professionally and ten players who have been All-America selections.
"I am a defensive minded coach that teaches discipline and I expect to have a team that competes as hard as they possibly can,” said Harris. “Success for the Indian Men’s National team may not happen overnight, but the NBA and BFI in have laid a good foundation for the development of basketball in India. This country has a large population with a lot of potential and untapped resources. The future is bright and I’m honored to be a part of this movement."
Harish Sharma, the Secretary-General of BFI, welcomed Harris to India. "Coach Harris has been hired to bring his expertise to further develop basketball in India. He is a successful and inspiring coach, and we are hoping that he can elevate the play of our Men’s team."
“The BFI is grateful for the assistance of the NBA in helping us hire him,” said Sharma, “Furthermore, our partners at IMG-Reliance will also continue to work with us to look after the coach’s needs.”
Harris’ job began in Chennai from Tuesday, September 28th, where he will evaluate the talent available and work with his selected squad to train for the upcoming competition over the next few months.