Kelly Harris enters her first season as interim assistant coach with the Louisville rowing program. Prior to her arrival at Louisville, Harris assisted the Bucknell University women's rowing team during the 2013 fall season as a volunteer while training for her second ultramarathon trail race in January. Working under seven-time Patriot League champion head coach Steve Kish, Harris provided a positive experience for two novice eights, focusing on retention of those walk-on athletes, while also helping to develop the Bison work ethic among the recruited freshmen.
Prior to Bucknell, Harris served as the head women's rowing coach at Marietta College for six years. Under the leadership of Harris, the 2011 and 2012 spring seasons proved to be Marietta's most successful to date, with many program firsts to highlight. The Varsity 8+ won back-to-back Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championships, placing it as the top boat in the conference. The win in 2011 afforded the crew its first bid in 12 years to the NCAA DIII National Rowing Championships held in Sacramento, Calif. (Marietta College attended the championship in 1999 before the split of divisions occurred in 2002). In 2012, the team won its first championship at the MARC, and a first-ever team bid (Varsity 8+ and 2nd Varsity 8+) to the NCAA Championships, where the Varsity 8+ finished fifth in the nation and the team finished sixth overall.
The Marietta women also won back-to-back gold medals at the 2011 and 2012 Dad Vail Regatta in the DIII Varsity 8+ event. Harris saw two of her rowers named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Pocock All-America team, one of which was a two-time first team selection. Eighteen CRCA National Scholar-Athlete titles were awarded from 2007-2013 while Harris led the Pioneers. Harris was named three-time Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference Coach of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012. She developed the Pioneers' team motto of O.A.R.S., which stands for Ownership, Accountability, Responsibility and Self-integrity, the qualities the women strive to demonstrate in their daily lives, on the water and in the classroom.
Prior to Marietta, Harris spent two years at Marist College, a Division I rowing program, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where she oversaw all aspects of the freshmen and varsity programs. The two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Coach of the Year led the Red Foxes to back-to-back MAAC championships in 2006 and 2007. Marist's Varsity Lightweight 8+ and Varsity 4+ finished runners-up at the 2006 ECAC Metro Regatta.
Harris began her full-time coaching career as the assistant men's and women's rowing coach at Vassar College from 2002-05 following a one year assistantship at her alma mater in New Hampshire. Under her direction, the Brewer women's Freshmen 8+ placed fifth at the 2005 N.Y. State Championships, the highest ranking at the event in Vassar history. In her first season at Vassar, Harris also led the women's 2nd Varsity 8+ to its first ever qualification and a 10th place finish in the 2003 ECAC Collegiate Championships.
Harris also coached two seasons of scholastic rowing at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., upon graduating from UNH. This opportunity afforded Harris the invitation to serve as Director of the Crew Program for the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School since 2003 in its inaugural year, where she has more recently also undertaken the position of Associate Dean of the Summer School.
A 2001 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Harris was a four-year member and two-year co-captain of the team. During her rowing career at UNH, Harris rowed to a gold medal in the Varsity 8+ at the 1999 New England Championships and helped UNH win the All-Around Women's Points Trophy at the ECAC's that same year. Harris was selected to participate in the 2001 East Coast Lightweight National Team Development Camp at Riverside Boat Club in Boston, Mass., winning gold in the Intermediate LW4x and the Intermediate LW2x with partner Hannah (Moore) Godfrey at the 2001 USRowing Club Nationals. In 2000, Harris attended the Mid-West Lightweight Development Camp at the University of Wisconsin where she partnered with Dusty (Darley) Mattison in the LW2x. At the world-renowned CRASH-B Indoor Rowing Championships in 2001, Harris won the bronze medal in the collegiate lightweight category. She was also named an All-American Athlete in 2001 by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
A 1997 graduate of F.D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park, N.Y., Harris got her start in the sport as a coxswain in eighth grade. She coxed for three years before beginning to row her junior year at FDR, winning bronze in the Junior 8+ event at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. In addition to her passion for the sport of rowing, Harris is a photographer and ultramarathon runner currently training for 50k, 40M, and 100k races in the upcoming year.