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Harris Joins Football Staff

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Matt Kifer, sports information director

Posted on April 19, 2010

California University has added Walt Harris to its football staff under the direction of ninth-year head coach John Luckhardt.

Harris will serve as offensive coordinator. The former head coach at the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University, he is noted for his ability to produce talented quarterbacks.

"Walt Harris the consummate professional," said Luckhardt. "He's done it all as a coach, and he is an excellent human being who sincerely cares about his players and all those he works with."

Harris, 63, compiled a 52-44 record over eight seasons at Pitt, from 1997-2004, including a victory in the Tangerine Bowl in 2001 and the Bowl in 2002.

Harris also has coached at his collegiate alma mater, Pacific University (1989-91), and at Stanford University (2005-2006). In 2009 he served as the University of Akron's quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator.

"I am very impressed by California's football program and the campus," Harris said. "I have no ego and am a team player. We have very good assistant coaches that I am learning from every day.

"I've been coaching a long time and seen many different formations and schemes," he added. "Hopefully I can help tweak a few things here or there and help this team do something very special."

The Vulcans football program has vaulted onto the national scene in the past three seasons. The team has won five consecutive PSAC-West championships en route to Cal U's first appearance in the NCAA Division II national playoffs in 2007 and three consecutive Northeast Regional championships.

The Vulcans have finished in the national semifinals each of the past three seasons and were named the ECAC Beast of the East for the third consecutive year in 2009, finishing seventh in the nation among all NCAA Division II football programs.

Cal U has won 20 consecutive PSAC-West games heading into 2010, and the Vulcans have compiled a 36-7 cumulative record over the past three seasons.

Cal U opens the 2010 season at Saginaw Valley (Mich.) State on Sept. 4.

Harris, originally from South San Francisco, Calif., now resides in the Pittsburgh area. He was called one of the brightest minds in football by the late Pro Football Hall of Fame coach, Bill Walsh.

"I grew up in California, the other one," Harris joked at an April 19 news conference in the Kara Alumni House.

"Coaching is about helping a young person become better every day, not about wins and losses. This is an excellent opportunity for me. I'm a ball coach, and it's about fitting in."