DSU hires Caleb Harrison as next women's basketball coachDickinson State athletic director Tim Daniel said Caleb Harrison fit the mold the university was looking for in its next head women’s basketball coach.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson State athletic director Tim Daniel said Caleb Harrison fit the mold the university was looking for in its next head women’s basketball coach.
Daniel said Monday night that Harrison has officially been hired to coach the Blue Hawks in the 2012-13 season.
Harrison was chosen by DSU to replace former head coach Andre Goldberg on June 27, but his deal was not finalized until Monday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’re excited to get him on board and get him going,” Daniel said.
Harrison, a native of Christchurch, New Zealand, was chosen after an on-campus interview June 25. He was one of two coaches DSU had on campus to interview for the position. The other was former Northwestern State assistant coach Bob Austin.
Harrison could not be reached for comment when contacted by The Press.
Daniel said Harrison’s experience at the NAIA level swayed the hiring committee’s decision to recommend him for the position.
Harrison was the head coach at NAIA Division I Hannibal (Mo.) LaGrange University last season, where he guided the team to a 17-14 record a year after it won just six games. He recruited both the American Midwest Conference’s Newcomer and Freshman of the Year. He previously had assistant coaching gigs at Southwest Baptist (Mo.), Dakota State (S.D.) and Lambuth (Tenn.), all of which are NAIA schools.
DSU had been a NAIA Division II school in basketball until this coming season. The Frontier Conference is at the NAIA Division I level, where schools can offer more scholarships than at Division II.
“He’s experienced at the recruiting process at an NAIA institution that’s some ways like us and some ways not like us,” Daniel said. “That was huge.”
Daniel, who coached the DSU men’s basketball team from 1992 to 2003, said Harrison has a smart coaching philosophy and is an excellent recruiter.
Daniel said Harrison stresses a motion offense with a man-to-man defense but made it known in his interview that he doesn’t want his teams to be pigeonholed into those styles.
“One of the things that impressed me is that Caleb adjusts his style of play around the athletes he has,” Daniel said. “He’s not a person who’s going to try to and mold his players around his style. He’s going to allow his players to be put in the position where they have the best position to succeed.”
Harrison came highly recommended, Daniel said. Among his references, he listed legendary former Northern State men’s basketball Don Meyer and Lin Dunn, head coach of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.
Before coming to the United States to earn his master’s degree at Indiana State, he attended Christchurch College of Education in New Zealand, where they did not have a basketball team.
Daniel said Harrison is recruiting and attempting to fill some of DSU’s roster voids before the start of the school year.
“He’s off and running,” Daniel said. “He’s got lots of good leads. It is late, but I think even with the lateness, where we’re at in the timeline of recruiting where I think he’s got the chance to go and get us some players that are going to help right away next year.”