MIAMI GARDENS, FL. — It truly is a new day at Florida Memorial University now that Timothy S. Harris Sr. has been tasked with leading the rebirth of the Lions’ football program. Harris was officially announced as the head football coach during a press conference held at the FMU Wellness Center, Monday, August 12.
“I’m so excited about being the new football coach at Florida Memorial University,” said Coach Harris. “This has been something that I’ve worked for my whole career and I’m so excited and so committed to making sure that I do an awesome job here.”
Football is a part of the university’s long-standing history, having been introduced in 1929 when the team played in the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Association. After 61 years without the popular sport, the university has reintroduced the game to Lion Country and it began with the hiring of the new coach.
Many are excited for the new transition including university President, Dr. Jaffus Hardrick. “I’m excited about the hiring of Coach Tim Harris, the inaugural football coach of Florida Memorial University revived football program,” said President Hardrick.
“I’m looking to where we’re about to go and I’m looking forward to developing a winning tradition at Florida Memorial.”
A well-known figure in South Florida football, Harris has over 22 years of coaching experience all within the South Florida communities. He spent the last three years as the Head Coach at Booker T. Washington Senior High School in Miami where they finished as the 2016 State Semifinal runner ups.
In total he spent 11 years with the Tornadoes between 2003-2018. He had two stints with the University of Miami Hurricanes as the Assistant Director of Football Operations from 2008-11 and then as the running backs coach from 2014-16.
As a coach with the Tornadoes, Harris has a 99-11 record during his two periods there from 2003-2014. Harris also has experience coaching at Miami Northwestern, Miami Central and Miami Senior High School.
He has an overall record of 114-21 over nine seasons, three FHSAA Class 4A State Championships, and has been named Coach of the Year 14 times by entities such as the Miami Dolphins, USA Today and the Miami Herald.
Will Marcelin, a 2009 graduate of Florida Memorial, said he’s totally excited about the new football team. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of the football team, I’ve always wanted to have a marching band; I’m glad that it’s here.”
The last football game played by the Lions was a 14-8 win over Albany State in 1958 under then head coach Lloyd Howell. The University, then called Florida Normal and Industrial Institute, competed in the Southeastern Athletic Conference. From 1945-58 the team finished with an all-time record of 41 wins, 25 loses and six ties with a break in the 1949 season.
Coach Harris said, “When this press conference is over, the recruiting process will start.”
Currently, the Lions compete in the Sun Conference as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The inaugural season is set for Fall 2020.