Harris named coach of the yearPublished 11:07pm Monday, March 17, 2014
After leading the Lady Saints to their eleventh consecutive 20-win season, Selma head coach Anthony Harris is the Times-Journal’s all-county basketball coach of the year.
Harris’ Saints went 24-5 this season and hosted a sub-regional game that they lost to Paul Bryant, abruptly ending a season where they reached No. 8 in the state rankings.
“I felt we were better than the sub-region,” Harris said. “I felt like we should have at least gotten to the region and made a grand run. That was our goal but some things just didn’t fall in place but we had the talent to get there.”
At the same time, Harris said he always values education over athletics and he enjoys the every day challenges of coaching his team.
“Sometimes it is not always about winning a state championship, and I think when you put 15 personalities together and they become one, you’ve won a championship,” Harris said.
The Saints defeated county rival Keith — the only other girls’ team to be ranked from Dallas County this season — in both matchups this season.
Selma’s girls also swept Southside, Ellwood Christian and Dallas County to finish up 8-0 against county competition.
Although the Saints’ run didn’t end with a state championship, it did continue the team’s consistent success over the last eleven years.
“In the eleven years, it is not about [me], it is about the kids that have come through our system,” Harris said. “They buy into our system and they work. We believe in what we do, we tell them what we want to do and at the same time we just work.”
Harris has had numerous teams reach the No.1 ranking in his career. His 2007-2008 team, reached the state semifinal with an unblemished record before losing. Harris’ 2003-2004 Saints’ team reached No. 1 in the state rankings.
Harris said one of the reasons he thinks he is successful is because he sets goals for his team.
“Every human sets goals and that’s what I try to instill in my team,” Harris said. “You don’t just walk into the gym and say ‘Let’s play’. You’ve got to set some goals and meet those goals and over the last eleven years my staff and I have done a good job [of that.]. ”
And, as soon as Spring sports end at Selma High School, the Lady Saints will start working out.
“The weekend after the state track meet, that Monday, the Lady Saints go back to work,
Harris said. “We are going to go to camps and play in A-day games and then during the fall, I give them a week [before we go back to work.]”