University of New Mexico basketball team have signed former NBL guard Chris Harriman as head assistant coach.
Chris Harriman played 23 games in the NBL, one season with the Sydney Kings (1999) another with the Hunter Valley Pirates in their inaugural NBL season (2004). He joins the Lobos after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Nebraska Cornhuskers under Tim Miles.
Harriman has also been a part of coaching staffs at Saint Louis and Nova Southeastern prior to his time at Nebraska.
“It’s a great day for our program and for me to be able to introduce Chris as our new associate head coach,” said New Mexico head coach Craig Neal who appointed Harriman to the role.
“He fits really well into what we do as a program and as a staff here at New Mexico. I wanted to find the right guy to be my right-hand man, and I have found him. He’s been around great basketball minds in Coach Majerus and Coach Miles. I am very excited to welcome Chris and his family to our program. Harriman had some great coaches in Australia too playing under Bill Tomlinson and Hall of Fame coach Adrian Hurley during his NBL career.
The Sydney, Australia native has recently been a big part in cultivating the pipeline of talented Aussies who are looking to ply their trade in the US College system.
Harriman was instrumental in recruiting the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ Terran Petteway, Shavon Shields and Dylan Talley, all who have since earned All-Big Ten selections in his three seasons in Lincoln. Petteway led the conference in scoring in 2013-14 and became the first Cornhusker to earn a league scoring title in six decades. NU also made the NCAA Tournament that same season for the first time in 15 years.
“The opportunity to come over here to New Mexico and be part of something really special is very exciting,” said Harriman. “Coach Neal is someone I have admired for quite some time. I think he is one of the better offensive minds in college basketball. I just can’t wait to get started and begin working as a Lobo.”
Harriman was an assistant coach under the late Rick Majerus at Saint Louis from 2008 to 2012 during the era of the Billikens’ resurgence with a pair of 20-win seasons. He assumed head coach duties at SLU for one game after Majerus was hospitalized and led the team to a 75-60 win over Duquesne.
During his final season at SLU, the Billikens ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA in scoring defense, scoring margin, turnover margin and turnovers per game. They would go on to earn a NCAA Tournament berth where they would defeat Memphis in the first round.
“I remember going out for dinner here after our loss in The Pit in 2011, and Coach Majerus and I talked about how special the environment was here,” said Harriman. “Now I have the opportunity to coach in The Pit and in these great facilities, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
Known as a strong recruiter, Harriman has landed numerous key international recruits from Australia and New Zealand in Rob Loe, Christian Salecich and Cody Ellis. He was the lead recruiter for four of SLU’s seven top scorers of the 2011-12 season. It’s fitting that he will now do the same for the school who played a role in getting the first Australian into the NBA, Luc Longley.
If you’re confused by the large game of time between his season with the Kings (1999) and his season at Hunter Valley (2004) it was due to him leaving Australia after his first season to play Division II basketball for Augusta State. It was after he completed his senior year he returned to the NBL and finished second for the Rookie of the Year award (losing to Townsville Crocodiles Steven Marković).
Harriman was a standout guard for the Augusta State (Ga.) Jaguars of the NCAA Division II’s Peach Belt Conference. ASU won 78 games with Harriman in a Jaguar uniform. He led the PBC in steals and was named the conference’s Player of the Week during his senior season. The guard helped guide Augusta State to PBC division titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. He wrapped up his college career with 627 points and 375 assists for the Jaguars.
Chris Harriman and his wife, Cheryl, have one son (Avery) and two daughters (Kacee and Elsie).
Harriman started the #AveryStrong campaign to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer in honor of his son’s battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Chris Harriman Career NBL statistics