NOTE TO READERS: This biography was updated for the 2019 NCAA Division III Regional Tournament at Concordia-Chicago (Ill.) which begins on May 17, 2019
BRIAN HARRISON HAS ELEVATED THE BW PROGRAM TO CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL
Brian Harrison is taking his Yellow Jacket baseball team back to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the fourth time. The ninth-year head coach at Baldwin Wallace University also is the 2019 Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, and deservedly so. Harrison's team captured the OAC regular sdeason co-title and earned an atlarge berth in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Harrison at Baldwin Wallace
Harrison is the 10th head coach in the history of the Yellow Jacket baseball program and succeeded the legendary Bob Fisher '63. Harrison won his 200th career game at BW in 2018 and has 376 career wins, including 235 at BW.
Harrison's team goals are to lead the Yellow Jackets to the Ohio Athletic Conference title, an NCAA Division III Regional and an NCAA Division III National Championship. Simply put, Harrison is a winner and he works tirelessly to make his team into a winner each season. His team has won 22 or more games for eight straight years and has a 218-124 record during that span.
A Year Ago, BW Won the OAC Tournament Title and Advanced to the NCAA Tourney
A year ago, Harrison's team was within reach of its second appearance at the Division III World Series. His squad ended the season with a school-record 33 wins, a 33-14 overall record, an OAC Tournament title and a fourth place finish in the NCAA Division III National Tournament in the New York Regional. His team also set school records for runs scored (392), runs batted-in (358), home runs (43), stolen bases (111) and opposing batter strikeouts (349).
More OAC and NCAA Tournament Success, Including a World BW's First-Ever World Series Appearance in 2014
In 2015, Harrison took his Yellow Jacket team to the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament (the New York Regional). The trip marked BW's second straight appearance in the national tourney. The season included a then school-record 31 victories and a 31-12 record.
In 2014, Harrison led BW to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin. He led the Yellow Jackets to a then school-record 30 victories, a 30-20 overall mark and into the championship game of the prestigious OAC Tournament. BW won the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Scranton, Pennsylvania to advance to the Div. III World Series. At the Mid-Atlantic Regional, Harrison's team had a perfect 4-0 record.
Prior to 2014, Harrison already had his program moving in a positive direction. In both 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, he led BW to a previous school-record 27 wins each season and a 27-13 record.
Harrison Came Home -- Back to His Cleveland Roots -- When He Took the BW Job
When Harrison came to BW, he was coming home. He returned to Greater Cleveland where he grew up in Westlake, Ohio and was a prep standout at Lakewood St. Edward High School.
He came to BW following a three-year stint at Dayton where his responsibilities included hitting, outfielders and recruiting. While at Dayton, the Flyers improved offensively in almost every category. In 2009, Dayton won its first Atlantic 10 Conference Championship in school history behind the 21st ranked offense in all of NCAA Division I baseball.
Prior to his time at Dayton, Coach Harrison served as the head coach at NAIA Urbana University and turned the Blue Knight program into a winner. After going 7-43 in 2005, he coached the Knights to a 37-21 record and a second-place finish in the American Mideast Conference's South Division and a fourth-place finish in the Region IX Tournament in 2006. For his efforts, Coach Harrison was named AMC South Division Coach of the Year. The 30-win difference was one of the best single-season turnarounds in NAIA history. Coach Harrison did it again in 2007 by leading Urbana to a 32-21 record. That marked the fourth time in five years as a head coach that Harrison's teams amassed 30 or more victories in a single season. Coach Harrison had a 76-85 career mark at Urbana, including a very solid, 69-42 slate in his last two seasons.
Brian Harrison's Numbers
|Years at BW|| Ninth in 2018-2019
|BW Record:||235-141 (.625)|
|OAC Record:||96-64 (.600)|
|OAC Tournament Appearances||Four (7-8 record)|
|NCAA Division III
|FOURTH in 2019 (6-4 record)|
|NCAA Division III
World Series Appearances
|One (1-2 record)|
Prior to Urbana, Coach Harrison was the head coach at nearby Cuyahoga Community College, located in Parma Heights, Ohio. In his first season in 2003, Coach Harrison's Challengers came within one victory of the school record and had their first winning season in eight years. The team improved its win total from 16 in 2002 to 35 in 2003 and set 15 school records in the process. His career mark at Tri-C was 65-41 overall. He also served as an associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds from 2004-2005.
Harrison as a Collegiate Standout Hitter
As a standout collegiate player at NAIA Shawnee State University, Coach Harrison had more than 40 career homeruns and 200 RBI. He earned NAIA All-America honors after leading the Bears to a fifth-place finish at the 2000 NAIA College World Series and was later named to the Shawnee State Hall of Fame. He then continued his baseball career at the professional level for two years before deciding to join the coaching ranks.
The Harrison Family
Coach Harrison, his wife Traci, their two sons, Braden and Luke, and daughter, Harper, currently reside in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. You can regularly see his two boys taking batting practice at BW!