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New boys basketball coach instills positivity

Ashleigh Fryer, Senior Editor
5:22 pm PDT August 12, 2014

Malibu High School will be welcoming a new face to its coaching staff this school year, as Richard Harris takes on the role of head coach for the Sharks’ varsity boys basketball program. Harris will take the place of Bobby Tenorio, who resigned from the position after the 2013-14 season to pursue other coaching opportunities. 

Harris, a Texas native, enjoyed a basketball career of his own, playing for Xavier University in New Orleans after a stint of service in the United States Air Force. 

After moving to California “on a whim,” Harris worked at Cal State University, Los Angeles, teaching kinesiology before moving on to become a physical education teacher and varsity basketball head coach at New Roads School in Santa Monica from 2006-2010. More recently, Harris coached at AGBU High School in Pasadena from 2011-2014, and Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley from 2012-2014.  

With the boys basketball season fast-approaching, Harris said he is hitting the ground running with plans to improve and build upon what he sees as a great base program. 

“If you don’t want to develop your team, then you’re coaching the wrong sport — development is everything,” Harris said. “I’d like to see this team to the next level and push all the players in a positive direction.”

Since his appointment to the coaching position in May, Harris has been active on campus, playing summer league with the varsity team and meeting prospective players. Harris hopes to develops the teams speed and agility, and, with the loss of several key seniors like Justin Holmes and Jonathan Baldwin last year, to grow the young talent on the team. 

“Hopefully the idea of a new regime will be a catalyst that gets new players hyped and motivated to try out,” Harris said. “I’m thinking there will be an abundance of players coming out this year.” 

Harris plans to hold tryouts the first or second week of the school year, in the hopes of setting the team’s schedule early so that the boys can prepare for the “tough competition” ahead. 

Harris said the physical environment of the school is another factor that will be new to him as a coach, as MHS is the first public school he has coached for. Whereas Harris has dealt with limited or no gym space at schools in the past, Malibu’s sweeping views of Zuma Beach, paired with custom-built locker rooms and athletic facilities, he hopes will be the backdrop for many successful seasons.  

“There’s no barriers to success here,” Harris said. “This program can reach its peak.”