By Doug Brenneman,
With the football season fast approaching, the Washington community will get to see an experienced face in a new position on the sidelines of Case Field during games this year.
James Harris, who played for the Washington Demons and graduated in 2002, replaces former Demon top man Garrison Carter, who will be the head coach at ADM this fall.
?I just want to repeat how excited and humbled I am by the opportunity to be the head coach of the Washington Demons,? Harris said.
Harris took advantage of his promotion from defensive coordinator for a specific reason and that was because of the other coaches in the Demons? program.
?The group of men I?ve coached with on this staff are second to none and the opportunity to continue coaching with all of them is a great opportunity,? Harris said.
Harris has been impacted in a positive way by fellow coaches.
?I have had the privilege to coach with a lot of good men in Washington, specifically Randy Schrader, Dave Hoffman, and Garrison Carter,? Harris said.
Harris has also made an impact on those who have coached with him.
?With him in charge, I know that there will be no team in the state that outworks them, is more prepared than them, or more organized than them,? Carter said. ?Knowing that the program is in his hands makes me feel really good about the fact this program will continue to be one of the elite teams in the state of Iowa. I am fired up to watch them climb to even greater heights than we have reached.?
Under Carter, the Demons went 29-9 from 2013-2017.
Harris said Schrader is an incredible man who has over 30 years of coaching experience.
Schrader took the Demons to the Class 3A title game in 2013.
?What he has taught me would take an entire book,? Harris said. ?The biggies would be, first, to do the fundamental things that you do every day should be done great, like blocking, tackling, execution. Second, an accountable strength and conditioning program is the cornerstone of any successful program.?
Another thing Harris learned from Schrader is now called Demon Time ? always be 5 minutes early.
Hoffman was the defensive coordinator before Harris.
?Coach Hoffman has been a leader in our community for 20 years and the integrity and character he displayed every day was a great lesson,? Harris said. ?Coach Hoffman was also a tireless studier of opponent film.?
Carter as a head coach has left quite an impression on Harris.
?Coach Carter is as ambitious and driven a football mind as I have met,? Harris said. ?His philosophies for organization, offensive innovation and team culture building are on the cutting edge of where our game is headed. The important thing that Coach Carter instilled into me as a new head coach is to possess the attitude and work ethic that no one will be more organized than me, no one will work harder than me, no one will be more prepared than me. Don?t be satisfied with what you have done. Always be working for where you want to go.?
Harris has worked his way up to head coach. In 2012-13, he was the freshman football defensive coach. In 2014-15, he was in charge of the junior varsity defense and was the varsity defensive line position coach. In 2016-17, he was the varsity defensive coordinator.
He has also been the assistant varsity and junior varsity basketball coach from 2013-16. He has been the assistant varsity track coach since 2014, helping with the throwers.
?The success of the program will come from surrendering the outcome, and loving the process, step by step, day by day,? Harris said. ?If we are accountable to our character and values and show up and give our best effort in the weight room, I believe everything else will fall into place.?
Since 2014, he has put his degree from Coe College to use as the Demons? strength and conditioning coach.
Washington?s head baseball coach, Nathan Miller, has enjoyed the fruits of that knowledge. Miller appreciates what Harris has done for his players.
?James Harris does a great job with our strength and conditioning and I know it helps,? Miller said. ?That has been a big part of how we have been able to maintain our endurance because our strength is there from what he is doing with our guys. Because of the in-season lift, we are able to maintain our strength and abilities. We have to condition ourselves to make sure we are staying sharp on the mound, in the field and in the batter?s box.?
Under Harris? tutelage in the weight room, Demon teams will stay sharp on the court, on the pitch and on the diamond. As head coach, the football Demons? intent will be to stay sharp on the field, on the sidelines and in the end zone.