Richard Harris Named Malibu Boys Basketball Coach

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Richard Harris begins his first year at Malibu as boys basketball coach.

Having worked as a production assistant at ESPN back in 2002 and 2003, where he helped produce the highlights for SportsCenter and ESPN News, Richard Harris has a strong background in sports and entertainment. 

From identifying talent, attending production meetings, typing, copying, editing and distributing scripts, Harris understood the organizational aspect of producing a quality show. Seeing a project advance through its early stages until final completion brought satisfaction to the then-26-year-old. 

Now at age 38, Harris embarks upon the next chapter of his life where he can produce his own show but in a much different setting. As the new boys basketball head coach at Malibu High School, Harris has the chance to place his signature stamp on developing the program. 

“Coaching high school basketball isn’t like anything else,” Harris said. “It’s a rare opportunity to still teach the fundamental principles of the game. With younger kids, they have a lot left to learn so it’s fun. You can see the rewards happen. You can see the progress of where they began to the end result. That’s the best part about it.” 

Born in Monterey, Calif., and raised in Houston, Texas, Harris enlisted in the Air Force and was accepted into the Air Force Academy. He ultimately graduated from Xavier University in New Orleans, La., where he earned a roster spot on the men’s basketball team as a walk-on guard for two years as a member of the Gold Rush. 

While at Air Force and Xavier, Harris learned the importance of discipline, respect, humility and honor. Those traits became his core values when he left ESPN in Bristol, Conn., and moved west to California. His coaching career began shortly thereafter. 

“Richard Harris the coach is the exact same as Richard Harris the person. I feel players should know who their coach is and be comfortable communicating at all times,” Harris said. “When players leave my program, I want them to know they learned a lot of individual traits that helped them as people as well as players. As a coach and as a person, those are the things I’m going to instill in my players.” 

After serving two years as the junior varsity coach in 2006 and 2007 at New Roads School in Santa Monica, Harris was promoted to varsity coach for three years. 

From 2011 to 2014, Harris was the head coach at AGBU High School in Pasadena where his team reached the CIF playoffs in each of his first two seasons. During his first year at AGBU, the Spartans advanced to the CIF Division VA Quarterfinals. 

Harris is also an assistant coach for the Pierce College men’s basketball team and will continue to coach there in addition to his duties at Malibu. 

The opportunity to coach at MHS arrived when former Malibu Coach Bobby Tenorio moved on to become the head coach at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard. 

“When I got the job, I was really excited and very happy. For me to get the position over people who were well-qualified was a good moment for me,” Harris said. “I’m excited. I want to make it a memorable basketball program.” 

Harris inherits a program that finished 8-20 last year and 1-9 in the tough Tri-Valley League. The Sharks return seven lettermen and have moved back to the less challenging Frontier League where a league title is a distinct possibility. 

“I would like to see complete dedication from the community,” Harris said. “I want to see the kids that played before come back. I want to see a community that is excited on game day. It’s something that’s talked about and fun to be a part of. I can’t wait for the season to start.”