ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: UCF Athletics // Tim Harris Jr., an integral part of Florida International’s football success the last half-dozen years as running back coach and recently promoted to offensive coordinator and play-caller, has been named co-offensive coordinator and running back coach on Gus Malzahn’s new football coaching staff at UCF.
In 2020 Harris Jr. tutored a Florida International running attack led by Phil Steele third-team all-league selection D’vonte Price, the league leader in rush yards per carry (6.84). Price also ranked 11th in the nation for rush yards per game this past season, after averaging 116.2 yards per contest. He also finished over the century mark for rushing in all but one game in 2020, while earning a career-high 178 yards rushing against Florida Atlantic.
Harris oversaw a balanced rushing attack in 2019 that produced a pair of NFL rookie free agents in Anthony Jones and Napoleon Maxwell. The duo’s highlight of the season came in the win over Charlotte, as Jones (117) and Maxwell (114) rushed over the century mark. It was just the seventh game in Florida International history that the Panthers had at least two players go over 100 yards rushing in the same game. Harris has overseen five of Florida International’s seven games in program history with two or more running backs over the century mark. Jones continued his success over the course of the season as he strung together a streak of three games over 100 yards rushing, becoming just the second Panther ever to achieve that feat.
During the 2018 season, Harris Jr. developed his unit into one of the most productive ground attacks in Conference USA and one of the most successful in program history. Florida International broke the school’s single season record for rushing touchdowns (27) and rush yards per carry (4.8), while also logging the second-most rushing yards (2,286) in program history and the second-highest rush yards per game (175.8).
In 2018 Florida International finished third overall in Conference USA in total rushing yards, rush yards per game, and rushing touchdowns, while also averaging the second-highest rush yards per carry in the conference. Under Harris, running backs Anthony Jones and Napoleon Maxwell finished first and third on the team with eight and seven touchdowns, respectively. Harris developed junior running back Anthony Jones into a 2018 All-Conference USA honorable mention selection despite only having him available for six games. Harris implemented a balanced ground attack that helped running backs Maxwell, Price, and Shawndarrius Phillips all finish with a top 20 ranking in Conference USA rushing yards. Maxwell and Price also finished third and fourth on the team, respectively, with 771 and 743 all-purpose yards.
The 2017 season was a banner year for the Panther offense, with Florida International amassing 5,100 total yards to come just 37 yards shy of setting a program record. Florida International scored 333 points in 2017, which ranked second in program history for a single season. The Panthers were masters at moving the chains as well, with Florida International setting a school record for most first downs (269) in a season. Florida International also ranked first in the NCAA for red zone offense, after scoring on 40 of 41 attempts (97.6%).
On the ground, the Panthers earned the second-most rushing touchdowns (20), yards (2,069) and yards per game (159.2) in school history, while earning nine games over the century mark as a team. Overall, Florida International finished with four games over 200 yards on the ground, while the 379 yards against Massachusetts ranks as the third-most for a single-game in school history. Under Harris Jr.’s guidance, three players gained over 450 yards rushing in 2017 with Alex Gardner leading the running back stable with 719 yards on the ground.
Harris Jr., came to Florida International after one year as the head coach of Booker T. Washington High School in 2014. In his first season as head coach, Harris Jr., the Class 4A Coach of the Year and the son of legendary Washington coach and two-time Florida Dairy Farmers Coach-of-the-Year Tim “Ice” Harris (2012, 2013), led the Tornadoes to their second-straight 14-0 record, their third-straight Florida 4A state title and a No. 2 final national ranking (USA Today). The Tornadoes capped the title run with a 54-35 state championship win over Jacksonville Bolles. Harris Jr., was named the 2014 Florida Dairy Farmers Football Coach of the Year, the 2014 Miami Dolphins George Smith South Florida High School Football Coach of the Year, the 2014 NIKE Football State Coach of the Year and a finalist for the 2014 U.S. Army All-American National Coach of the Year.
Prior to taking over the reins in 2014, Harris Jr., was the offensive coordinator for the Tornadoes for five seasons. During that time he also coached wide receivers and quarterbacks. In 2013, Harris, Jr., helped Booker T. Washington win the 2013 national championship, averaging 41.9 points per game. He also served as the Tornadoes’ head track and field coach from 2010-2014. During that time, Harris Jr., won the 2014 Florida 2A Boys Track & Field State Championships and was the state runner-up in 2013. He was awarded the Miami-Dade County Boys Track & Field Coach of the Year in 2013.
Harris Jr., was a four-time NCAA All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference champion for the University of Miami’s track and field team. He earned a degree in English and creative writing from Miami in 2008. His wife, Nicolette, has been an athletic trainer and assistant clinical professor in the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International.
2009-13 Booker T. Washington (Florida) High School Offensive Coordinator/Receivers/QBs
2014 Booker T. Washington (Florida) High School Head Coach
2015-20 Florida International Running Backs
2021 Florida International Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs
2021 UCF Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs