- Faith & Family
The father-son coaching duo may just be the formula needed to get the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes back to the state championship. Head Coach, Tim “Ice” Harris, Sr., in his first season back at Booker T., since taking a hiatus in 2008 in football operations under then University of Miami Head Coach Randy Shannon, has led the Tornados (9-1) to another district 8-4A championship, their ninth under his guidance.
Harris said that he is happy to be back at Booker T. — the program he led to the state championship in 2007. His return, however, is even more exceptional because not only is he working alongside offensive coordinator and eldest son Tim Harris, Jr., he is also coaching his youngest son, sophomore quarterback Treon Harris.
“It’s been so exciting, watching [Harris Jr.] leading the team,” Harris Sr. said. “I’m so proud of how he is really growing. I see him and it’s like I’m watching myself. I believe he will make a great head coach.”
Harris Jr., a track phenom at UM, returned to his alma mater in 2009, under the direction of Earl Tillman, now the program’s offensive line coach. Harris Jr. started as the quarterback coach and his second year was promoted to assistant head coach/offensive coordinator, the position he still holds.
“[Harris Jr.] is a great coach,” Tillman said. “He is very energetic and spontaneous, and the kids respond really well to him, because he can relate to him.”
“It’s funny because I was in the same position under a different coach,” Harris Jr. said. “It meant a lot that my dad had such faith in me. He felt extremely comfortable with my knowledge of the game and for the style of offense we run. He trusted me knowing he’s taught me so much about hard work and dedicating myself to a job.”
Harris Jr. has also helped develop his younger brother into one of the premier quarterbacks in the state of Florida as a sophomore; one of the top 10 in Miami-Dade County.
Harris Sr., who became a coach because he wanted to inspire and saw a need for more father figures in the community, said that even with all of his success he has also learned a lot from Harris Jr.
“He’s tougher on the players than I am now,” Harris Sr. said. “As I get older, I tend to be a little more laid back; he reminds me to stick with the fire. He keeps me motivated.”
Off the field, the Harris clan try to turn the football talk off. Where Jr. refers to Sr. as “Coach” or “Ice” in the office, he says it’s just “dad” at home.
“Sometimes Sunday dinner turns into football work as well,” Harris Jr. said. “It’s not a problem for anybody though because even my mom is a big football fan.”
Booker T., finished the regular season in a rout over playoff-bound Southridge (5-4) 45-7, are ranked first in the state in class 4A. Quarterback Harris was 5 of 12 for 134 yards and two touchdowns while leading all rushers with 99 yards and two scores. The Tornadoes will host Riviera Beach Inlet Grove (4-5) on Friday.
By Akilah Laster
Miami Times writer