Stepping down: Harrison reminisces coaching success

Poy Nopphavong

For the past 35 years, Dan Harrison has coached basketball in and around Derby, spending the past two as the Panthers girls basketball coach. 

After coaching the Panthers to third place in Class 6A last month, Harrison has resigned. He will continue as a DHS counselor.

“I’ve been coaching here for around 42 years now, 35 of them in basketball,” he said. “This year I had a lot of family obligations offseason and also next fall that I need to be part of. It’s also just the wear and tear on my body after a while. I always get sick, my body shuts down.”

He will miss coaching, though.

“I had a great group of girls this year and there are a lot of good players coming back, so the next coach is set,” Harrison said. “I didn’t want to leave with nothing in the bank. It will be weird not being on the sidelines next year, but at the same time I will continue to be a fan, pulling for the players and wanting to watch them be successful,” 

Harrison, who also was an assistant for previous coach Jodie Karsak, has spent time training the Panthers. 

“They have the DNA for winning,” he said. “Just because the coach changed doesn’t mean they have to change their work ethic. If they stay together, you know stay with that close bond that they developed this year it’s really going to help.”