Conway, SC – After wading through a mountain of applications from across the country, Atlantic Collegiate Academy Director of Athletics William Payne zeroed in right away on Jason Harris in his search for a boys’ basketball coach.

A veteran high school and college coach, Harris is the first coaching staff hire for the Armada. He will officially begin his duties at Atlantic Collegiate in July.

“This is an incredibly special day for me and my family,” Harris said. “There are no words to describe what an honor it is to be named the first head coach at Atlantic Collegiate Academy. I am going to do everything I can, from day one, to make sure our school will not only become a very special place in Myrtle Beach, but a special place in South Carolina.”

Harris comes to ACA from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., where he served for the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Governors where he primarily worked with the teams’ guards. Before his stop at APSU, Harris was an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at North Carolina Central for three seasons.

During his time in Durham, the Eagles set the program’s Division I record for single season wins, both overall and in conference play. Harris played a pivotal part of the development of All-MEAC players Paulina Afriye, Rodneysha Martin and Kieche White and, in his role as recruiting coordinator, he successfully recruited Anissa Rivera, who blossomed into the MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2021.

Harris grew up just outside Washington, D.C., and attended St. John’s Catholic Prep at Prospect Hall. After a stellar prep career, during which his team compiled a 104-7 record with four top 10 finishes in the USA Today national poll, he went to college at Fordham University in The Bronx.

The accolades continued during his time playing for the Rams. He was a four-year letter winner and a two-year captain. He finished his collegiate career as the all-time leading three-point shooter in program history. In 2000 Dick Vitale included him among the top five long-distance shooters in the nation and, in 2001, he was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive team. He was named the A-10 Player of the Week four times during his career while earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2001.

In 2021, Harris was one of five players selected to Fordham’s 25th Anniversary A-10 team.

After his college career ended, Harris tried his hand at professional basketball, playing in France.

Harris got his start as a coach in the prep ranks, making early stops at Montverde Academy just outside Orlando, Fla., and Montrose Christian Academy in Rockville, Md. At Montverde, he served as national and international recruiting coordinator, developing deep ties across the globe as the team went 50-8 during his time and ranked 23rd in USA Today‘s national high school poll.

Jason and his wife Cathy have one son, Jason Jr. (Duce) and a daughter, Joanna. Together the Harris family enjoys sports, the outdoors and their dogs, Justice and Jasmine.