Former Head Coach – Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers
Del Harris has coached basketball at every level over the past 51 years. He has been the Head Coach of the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was named Coach of the Year in 1995. He became only the 20th NBA coach to win 500 regular season games in 1998-99 when the Lakers ended with 61 wins, his final full season as a head coach. He has sat on the bench for over 200 NBA playoff games, including trips to the finals in 1981 and 2006.
As Head Coach and Vice President of Basketball Operations of the Bucks, Harris was one of the first to utilize computerized filming and scouting techniques along with son Larry Harris. He hired Bob Bellotti and Jordan Cohn as consultants, both of whom have since been recognized as pioneers in the statistical analysis of basketball players for the past 20-plus years. As coach and advisor to the Dallas Mavericks, Harris worked directly with Wayne Winston and Jeff Sagarin of Indiana University in their statistical approach to the NBA.
He was most recently presented with the Jerry Colangelo Award at the 2011 NBA All-Star Game breakfast sponsored by Athletes in Action that recognizes contributors of character both in the area of basketball and outside of the arena.
He is the member of four basketball Halls of Fame, including the State of Indiana Basketball Hall and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall as well as Earlham College where he coached nine years and at Milligan.
He is the author of four basketball books and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, having appeared in various television and movie productions.
He has coached with the national teams of Puerto Rico, Canada, the United States and China in world competition, winning a bronze, silver, and gold. He was the first foreign head coach of the national team of China for the 2004 Olympics, guiding them to the best performance in their history.
After his Lakers tenure, he was an assistant coach primarily with the Dallas Mavericks. During this time the Mavericks won the second most games in the NBA with a record of 422 wins and only 172 losses. He was voted the top assistant coach in the league by the NBA general managers three of his final four years on the bench, including the last two.
He was an honorable mention All-American basketball player at Milligan College, Tennessee, where he graduated with honors and has a Masters Degree in History from Indiana University. He coached basketball and baseball in high school and at Earlham College, Indiana. While coaching in those years he played as a pitcher with seven state champion semi-pro baseball teams in Indiana and Ohio, winning one national title in 1968 with the Ohio Champions from Dayton, Ohio.
Nine years ago Del and wife, Ann, formed the Del and Ann Harris Foundation which primarily promotes Christian missions and education, along with other worthy causes.