KNOXVILLE — Tennessee's basketball program officially announced Friday afternoon the promotion of Marco Harris from student-athlete welfare coordinator to director of basketball operations.
A longtime friend of third-year coach Cuonzo Martin, Harris replaces Houston Fancher, who left to take a position on UNC-Wilmington's coaching staff earlier this offseason.
"First and foremost, Marco is someone I know extremely well and trust," Martin said in Tennessee's release. "I know his work ethic and his character, and I see this as a role he can flourish in. He's already spent two years here at Tennessee, so he's familiar with the university's policies and procedures.
"This is a great opportunity for him to grow as an administrator and serve the program in a larger capacity."
Like Martin a native of East St. Louis, Ill., Harris played baseball at Southern Illinois for one year before transferring to play basketball at Southwestern Oklahoma State. In addition to owning and operating a Subway in Oklahoma, he taught, worked in administrative positions and coached high school and AAU basketball before being hired at Tennessee two summers ago.
In his new role, Harris will work more with the athletic department administration and handle budgetary and other administrative responsibilities. His previous role allowed him to work more closely with Tennessee's players. The Vols' cumulative team 2.63 grade point average during the spring semester was the program's best academic term since the university began recording such information in 2003.
Fancher, a former Appalachian State assistant and head coach and native of nearby Newport, joined former Vols coach Buzz Peterson with the Seahawks after spending four years at Tennessee -- two as coordinator of video scouting under former coach Bruce Pearl, two under Martin as director of basketball operations and an interim role between the two.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-581-7288. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/patrickbrowntfp.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...