Jason Harris will start his fifth season at UMass Boston in 2018-19.
Harris’ third season on the Beacons bench, proved to be his most successful to-date, as he finished the 2017-18 season with the most wins (16) in over a decade. The Beacons also returned to the Little East Conference semi-final round for the second-straight year, which was also a first in over a decade. Harris’ Beacons would finish the year as the third-seed, and hosted the first conference tournament game in the program’s history, which they won by the final of 73-67 over Rhode Island College. Harris coached the first Little East Rookie of the Year award winner since the 2011-12 season in Michael Boyd.
During the 2018-19 campaign, Harris guided the Beacons to their program-record best third-straight winning season (13-12) and the program’s second-ever three-year run with double-digit wins. The Beacons jumped out to a 4-0 start for the first time under Harris and just the fifth time in program history. UMass Boston defeated the College of St. Joseph’s (Vt.) 99-72 on November 17 to win the 1st Annual Paula Titus Memorial Tournament. The Beacons closed out the regular season with back-to-back conference wins, including an 87-79 win over rival UMass Dartmouth on Senior Day.
In just his second season on the Beacons bench (2016-17), Harris led UMass Boston to the semi-final round of the Little East Conference tournament, and the program's second winning season (14-13) since the 2015-16 campaign. A program record five players were named All-Little East Conference selections under Harris' leadership. In just his second season at UMB, Harris led the Beacons to perhaps their biggest win ever, as they knocked-off then fifth ranked Tufts University on their home floor by the final of 76-74. The win marked the first-ever for the Beacons over a top-5 nationally-ranked team, and immediately earned the Beacons national attention. After earning the fifth-seed in the Little East Tournament, Harris' Beacons advanced to the semi-final round of the tournament following a 61-57 win over Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. The semi-final appearance marked the first for UMass Boston since the 2006-07 season.
During his first year on the harbor campus Harris helped to transform the look of the Beacons. In his first game at UMass Boston, he led his Beacons to a 72-61 win over cross-town rival Suffolk University. Harris' Beacons would then collect back-to-back wins first knocking off Fitchburg State University, before taking down Vermont Tech. He would then pick-up a huge win over Keene State College in December. Perhaps the biggest win of Harris' first season came when senior Quadry Allen put-in a last second lay-up to lead the Beacons to a 64-63 win over, Harris' alma mater Rhode Island College. Harris would also see sophomore standout Maurice Magras earn Little East Conference All-Rookie Team honors to close out his inaugural season at UMB.
A former NCAA Division I assistant coach and director of basketball operations at Long Island University, Harris becomes just the second fulltime head coach in UMass Boston men’s basketball history.
Harris served as the top assistant for Long Island University head coach Jack Perri from 2010-15. During his time with the Blackbirds, Harris coached nine All-Northeast Conference selections, and two players who won major conference awards. From 2010-2013, the Blackbirds put together an unprecedented run as they won three straight conference titles and posted a record of 72-29 overall. During their remarkable stretch the Blackbirds record an NEC record of 44-10.
As the team’s top recruiter, Harris traveled throughout New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
No stranger to the New England area, Harris is very familiar with Division III basketball, and especially the Little East Conference, having played his college basketball at Rhode Island College. A three-time captain for the Anchormen, Harris led RIC to the program’s first regular season championship in 2005.
Following his graduation from Rhode Island College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in justice studies, Harris stayed in the conference, and served as the assistant coach at Plymouth State University. He would then take the reins, and served as the interim head coach for the Panthers for the 2007-08 season.
A native of Bedford, Mass., Harris also holds a master’s degree in social science, which he earned at Long Island University in 2010.