Bittersweet goodbye to coach Harris, set to join UW staff

By Jose Trujillo and Ernie Gonzalez (@jAy_Ay_T  and @superego1012):

Ironically, it typically happens to most college football teams during the holiday season.

Head coaches are fired, assistants are promoted and players go pro or graduate. For San Jose State, it’s no different.

News broke Thursday that Will Harris, one of only two SJSU position coaches who has been with the team since 2016, will depart the Spartans to join the University of Washington’s coaching staff.

Harris will be officially added to the Husky’s staff on Jan. 9 as their 10th assistant coach, something that will become common in Division I football as the NCAA passed a measure in April allowing teams to add another coach come Tuesday.

A 2010 graduate from the University of Southern California with degree in American studies and ethnicity, Harris played five season as a defensive back for the Trojans, earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention as a strong safety in 2009.

He would go on to sign contracts with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the Canadian Football league’s Edmonton Eskimos.

In 2013, Harris decided to begin coaching college football and landed a job as the defensive backs coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He would go on to coach at Humboldt State University and Dixie College before joining San Jose State.

Harris will leave SJSU having coached two All-Mountain West defensive backs. Cornerback Andre Chachere earned first team all-conference in 2016, and safety Maurice Mcknight was an honorable mention.

In both seasons with Harris as defensive backs coach, San Jose State ranked fourth and sixth in passing yards allowed per game in the Mountain West.

Now, San Jose State will be searching for its new defensive backs coach and one name to keep in mind is Josh Irvin.

He has worked with SJSU for the last two seasons as an assistant defensive coach. As a player, Irvin played safety at Chapman University and served as its defensive back coach in his final season. His coaching career began as a defensive backs coach for Agoura High in California.

It will be sometime before San Jose State decides what direction to go. No matter the choice, one thing is certain: Will Harris will be missed at San Jose State.

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