Delmer (Del) William Harris (born June 18, 1937 in Plainfield, Indiana) is an American Basketball coach; currently an assistant coach for the NBA's Chicago. He also served as an NBA head coach for the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Lakers.
Harris is a graduate of Milligan College in northeast Tennessee, where his basketball career landed him in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. Early in his career Harris was coach at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana before entering professional ranks in 1975 as an assistant coach for the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association, under head coach Tom Nissalke. When that franchise folded, Nissalke and Harris were hired as head and assistant coach, respectively for the NBA's Houston Rockets. When Nissalke was let go by the club, Harris was asked to take over head coaching duties. Harris led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in the 1981 season, where they were defeated by the Boston Celtics four games to two. Don Nelson brought Harris to Milwaukee as his assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks team, where he later became head coach and, later, also General Manager.
After his stint with the Bucks, Harris became head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, winning NBA coach of the year Honors in '94-'95. A few seasons later found Harris as assistant coach, once again under head coach Don Nelson, and formerly under Head coach Avery Johnson. A native of Plainfield, Indiana, he is the father of former Bucks general manager Larry Harris.
On July 3, 2008, the Chicago reported that Harris agreed to become an assistant coach for the Chicago along with former Charlotte Bobcats head coach Bernie Bickerstaff and longtime NBA assistant Bob Ociepka. Along with Bickerstaff and Ociepka, Harris is expected to help establish a veteran presence on the coaching staff and help rookie head coach Vinny Del Negro.
He was an assistant coach under Rudy Tomjanovich with the US national team in the 1998 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.
Harris also served as coach of the Chinese national men's team, where he coached NBA All-Star center Yao Ming and led China to a surprising upset victory over Serbia and Montenegro in the Basketball.
Prior to becoming the Lakers' head coach Harris was also a special consultant of Canadian national men's basketball team and their then head coach |Ken Shields.