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Jebreh Harris Added To USC Track & Field Coaching Staff, Will Oversee Cross Country

Oct 21, 2020

Jebreh Harris has been named the assistant coach for distances and cross country with the USC track and field program it was announced by Trojan Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert today (Oct. 21).

Harris joins USC from Illinois, where he served as an assistant coach for middle distances and long sprints the past two seasons.  Prior to his stint at Illinois Harris was the head cross country and assistant track and field coach at UNLV from 2012-18.  He was also the recruiting coordinator at UNLV for both the track and cross country programs.  In addition he served at the 2019 U20 Pan American women's distance coach, the 2018 IAAF U20 World Team men's distance coach and the 2016 U23 NACAC event manager.

"After a very extensive and detailed search, I am elated to have Jebreh Harris as a part of our Trojan Family," said Smith Gilbert. "Coach Harris has enthusiastically worked his way up the college ranks and has earned his place at USC.  We welcome him to the PAC-12, among the best distance and middle distance coaches in the country. He has coached some some of the top 10 collegiate athletes every year in multiple events and has become a well-rounded coach. His professional athlete and elite student-athlete background will provide our student-athletes with a wealth of knowledge academically and athletically. Coaching is about more than X's and O's. It's about building strong people with great character and coach Harris embodies all of those traits and is ready to pass them along to our team as we strive to win NCAA Championships and produce Olympic medalists."

In his short time at Illinois, Harris coached freshman Tracy Towns to one of the top 1000m times in program history (2:49.16), later that indoor season Towns scored in the 2020 Big 10 Indoor Championships while racing in the 800m. Also at the 2020 Big 10 Indoor Championships, Harris' event group contributed to scoring points for the Fighting Illini in the men's and women's DMR.  Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the outdoor season was cancelled.  At the 2019 Big 10 Indoor Championships the Illini Women's DMR took third place with Felicia Phillips contributing on the 400m leg. Konrad Eiring placed first in the 1000m at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational earning him a personal best time in the event (2:26.10).

In his time at UNLV, Harris coached Avi'Tal Wilson-Perteete to the second fastest NCAA 800m time of 2:01.14. Wilson-Perteete earned second-team All-America honors in the 800m for both the indoor and outdoor seasons and broke the Mountain West record in the 800m.  Harris also coached Kaysee Pilgrim to a third-place finish in the high jump at NCAA Championships in 2017 and she posted a PR of 6-2.75 earlier that season. Pilgrim earned first-team All-American honors in the high jump and set the Conference record in the high jump.

In total, Harris coached five individual and five relay MWC Conference Champions and 20 All-Conference track and field performances at UNLV. He assisted in leading the UNLV track & field program to the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championship title in 2018. Harris coached UNLV school records in six events: the indoor and outdoor Distance Medley Relay (DMR), indoor 800m, indoor 600m, indoor 5k and outdoor high jump. The 2018 indoor DMR team clocked a time of 11:31.59A, breaking a previous school record that had stood for 20 years.

Before UNLV, Harris spent two years at South Carolina State as assistant head coach of cross country and track & field. He coached Seymour Walter when Walter broke the U.S. Virgin Islands national record in the 800m, posting a time of 1:49.19. Walter went on to compete at NACAC U23, CAC, and World University Games for the USVI. Harris also coached the women's cross-country team to runner-up in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He coached Brittany Stewart to an outdoor 5K conference title, and to a second-place finish at cross country conference championships. 23 school records were broken in his tenure at SCSU.

Harris began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach for five years at the University of Tennessee. In 2005, he was on a staff under cross country coach, George Watts where the cross-country team made its first NCAA Championships appearance in three seasons. As a volunteer coach he assisted Tennessee in achieving a team title at the 2003 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championship.

A native of Decatur, Georgia, Harris ran collegiately at the University of Tennessee, where he earned his undergraduate degree in graphic design in 2002. He was a two-time NCAA All-American in the distance medley and the 4x400m relay. He helped lead the team to both NCAA and SEC Outdoor Championships team titles in 2001. Harris also competed at Alabama State prior to Tennessee where he earned all-conference awards in cross country and track & field.

Following college he had a strong professional career which included being ranked No. 2 in the U.S. in the 800m in 2007 and posting a PR of 1:45.56.  He competed in two U.S. Olympic Trials finals in the 800m (2004 & 2008) and at seven USATF Championships in total. He ran the leadoff leg for USA's 4x800m relay team which set the U.S. record with a time of 7:02.82 at the Memorial Van Damme Meet in Brussels, Belgium on August 25, 2006, a record which still stands.