UMass Lowell Director of Athletics Dana Skinner named former United States Naval Academy Associate Head Coach Jennie Harris as the new head coach of the River Hawks’ women’s basketball program on Thursday.
Harris, who will become the seventh head coach in program history, served as the associate head coach under Stefanie Pemper at Navy last season following four years as her assistant coach. She will officially begin her duties on July 1.
“We are very pleased that Jenerrie Harris will be leading our women’s basketball program,” said Skinner. “During her campus visit, Jenerrie displayed a clear vision of the future and demonstrated the enthusiasm that will be vital for the continued advancement of women’s basketball at UMass Lowell.”
The first-time head coach has been a part of three regular season championship teams and three Patriot League Tournament Championship teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament during her time in Annapolis.
“It’s an exciting time for my family to become part of the River Hawk family and the UMass Lowell community as a whole,” said Harris. “Everyone I have met or spoken to is invigorated by the excitement surrounding the campus and the transition to the NCAA Division I level. I would like to thank Chancellor Marty Meehan, Director of Athletics Dana Skinner and the search committee for providing me with the opportunity to join such an impressive city, university and athletics department at this historic time. “
“We believe Coach Harris will provide the program with a well-balanced combination of basketball expertise and leadership, and we’re very excited about her capacity to build a successful Division I legacy,” said Skinner.
Harris’ previous positions include assistant coaching positions at Wright State (2006-2009) where she helped recruit former Washington Mystics guard Shey Peddy. She was also an assistant coach at Longwood from 2005 to 2006.
“There will be something from each one of my previous stops that I will bring with me,” said Harris. “Most recently, I plan on using my experiences at Navy, after having the pleasure of learning under Stefanie Pemper who is one of the brightest minds in women’s basketball.
“I’ve also seen firsthand what it takes to be a part of a school reclassifying from my time at Longwood. Two key components of that are a lot of patience and enthusiasm. I am very much looking forward to joining UMass Lowell on this journey.”
Playing under Head Coach Bernadette Mattox, Harris became the first walk-on during Mattox’s tenure to earn a scholarship and start at the University of Kentucky. Harris graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 2004.