Eric Harper will be leaving the men’s basketball staff at Clark College and taking over as the Head Women’s coach. Harper has 17 years of teaching and coaching experience at the collegiate level and started his college coaching career in 1997 as the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Yakima Valley CC.
After a month-long search of reviewing resumes and speaking with candidates and references, Athletic Director Ann Walker said it was an easy choice as to who was best suited to lead the women’s team. “Not only does Eric’s resume speak volumes about his coaching background, but he is of high character and wants to do things the right way. Eric is a highly motivated basketball coach with extensive experience at both the community college and university level. He has a proven record of player improvement while contributing to the development and success of a college basketball program. We are fortunate to have Eric lead, coach, and mentor our women and be a part of Penguin Nation.”
Harper is no stranger to the NWAC (formerly the NWAACC), having played collegiately at Wenatchee Valley and coaching for eight years in the League. Coaching women’s basketball in the NWAC is not new to Harper either. He was the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) from 1998-2002. In that four years, he had great success, with an overall record of 60-47. He was also named the Eastern Region Coach of the Year in 2000 and was nominated for NWAACC Coach of the Year in 2001. While coaching the women’s team, he also served as an Assistant for the men’s basketball team from 1997-2002. As the men’s assistant, YVCC went to the NWAACC tournament each year except 2000. In 2001, they were the NWAACC Champions. After four years of double duty as Head Women’s Coach and Assistant Men’s Coach, Harper took over a single role as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at YVCC. In the three years (2002-05), he had a record of 60-24, won the NWAACC Tournament in 2003 and was named 2003 NWAACC Coach of the Year.
After leaving Yakima Valley, Harper spent eight years (2005-13) as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach and Physical Education Instructor at Portland State University (PSU). While at PSU, Harper was part of a staff that led the Vikings to two NCAA tournament appearances (07-08 & 08-09) including the first appearance in school history. PSU also won the 2008 Big Sky Conference Championship.
Prior to coming to Clark in 2015 as a men’s assistant, Harper spent two years at Central Catholic HS (2013-15) where the Rams had back-to-back state tournament appearances including a 5th place finish in 2015.
Harper played collegiately at Wenatchee Valley College and Central Washington University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Biology. He also received a master’s degree from CWU in Physical Education, Health, and Leisure Studies with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology.
In addition to coaching at Clark College, Harper is also a Physical Education Instructor at PSU. He currently resides in Vancouver, WA with his wife Shelley and his two daughters, Keira (2) and Jordan (14).Harper Head Coach