FLC Athletics tabs Taylor Harris as new Head Women’s Basketball Coach

The Fort Lewis College Department of Athletics was pleased to announce Tuesday the hiring of Taylor Harris as the next Head Women’s Basketball Coach, effective immediately.

Harris becomes the 12th head coach in program history. He comes to Durango from Miles Community College, where he has guided the 2020-21 Pioneers to a Region XIII Championship, a 23-1 overall record as of Tuesday, and a shot at a NJCAA Division I National Championship opportunity later this month.

Fort Lewis College has been a desired destination for Harris, who has extensive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) ties from his time as a women’s basketball assistant coach at Regis University (2015-19) and a men’s assistant coach at Metropolitan State University of Denver (2009-2015).

“First off, I would like to thank President Tom Stritikus and Director of Athletics Brandon Leimbach for their trust in me and this opportunity to lead these amazing women of Fort Lewis Women’s Basketball,” Harris said. “From the first time I stepped foot in Whalen Gymnasium in 2011, Fort Lewis has been a place I wanted to be. The chance to be back in the RMAC and in such a beautiful place like Durango, is something that I dreamt of as a coach. To be a part of the championship rich tradition of Fort Lewis Women’s Basketball is an incredible feeling!”
During his time at Miles Community College, Harris has led the Pioneers to an overall record of 42-14 (.750) and a 30-5 mark (.857) in the Mon-Dak Athletic Conference. His program has also ranked No. 2 among NJCAA teams in GPA for the 2019-20 academic year (3.771) while being active in the community, accumulating 365 total hours of community service since September of 2019.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Harris has demonstrated to be a proven winner in the RMAC as he helped lead the Regis women’s basketball program to a record of 74-44 (.637) during his four seasons as an assistant under Molly Marrin.

Regis advanced to three RMAC Tournament semi-finals (2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19) during that stretch and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament in 2016-17 with a 23-8 overall record.

Prior to his time with the Rangers, Harris was a men’s assistant coach at MSU Denver under 2013 NABC National Coach of the Year, Derrick Clark. The Roadrunners put together a dominating stretch during Harris’ six seasons, compiling an overall record of 161-33 (.830) while advancing to the NCAA Division II National Tournament Final Four in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

In total, MSU Denver won four RMAC regular season championships, three RMAC Tournament championships and earned six NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances during Harris’ tenure.

“I’m so excited to begin the journey with Coach Harris and even more excited for our student-athletes to get to play in a culture where having fun and championship expectations go hand in hand,” said FLC Director of Athletics, Brandon Leimbach. “Taylor is truly a rising star in the women’s basketball coaching ranks. He is relationship oriented and our student-athletes will quickly realize how much he already cares about them even though he’s not arrived on campus yet. His knowledge of the RMAC, his incredible record as both an assistant and as a head coach, his ability to recruit relentlessly throughout Colorado and abroad, and the fact that he loves Durango make him a great fit to lead our women’s team in to the future.”

Harris will take over a Skyhawks program that has gone 21-21 overall the past two seasons, finishing ninth and narrowly missing the RMAC Tournament in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

“I am excited to build relationships with our women in the program, the campus, and community,” Harris said.  “I am excited to connect with alumni and work with everyone to build a program that reflects the values and special people of Fort Lewis College and Durango.”