Former New Hope, Meridian CC and South Alabama pitcher Garrett Harris joins EMCC’s baseball coaching staff

By: David Rosinski, SID, EMCC
By: David Rosinski, SID, EMCC

SCOOBA – Garrett Harris, a former standout pitcher for New Hope High School and collegiately at the University of South Alabama, has been hired as an assistant baseball coach at East Mississippi Community College, as announced this week by EMCC head baseball coach Chris Rose. Harris’ hiring has been approved by EMCC President Dr. Rick Young and EMCC Vice President/Director of Athletics Mickey Stokes.

Hired to primarily handle the day-to-day coaching duties for the Lions’ pitching staff, Harris is reunited with Rose after the right-hander previously pitched for EMCC’s current skipper for two seasons at Meridian Community College. Most recently, Harris served as an assistant baseball coach last year on John Walker’s staff at New Albany High School. Prior to that, Harris began his coaching career as a student assistant on Mark Calvi’s South Alabama coaching staff while completing his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in December 2011.

“I am very excited to join Coach Rose’s staff at East Mississippi and be able to work for the premier athletic program among Mississippi’s junior college ranks,” Harris said. “Coach Rose is a stand-up guy and an even better coach. I continue to learn so much from him, and I look forward to working relentlessly to help EMCC’s baseball program achieve our goals both on and off the field.”

Harris gained valuable head coaching experience last summer by rallying the Golden Triangle Jets to the tournament championship of the BNA Bank Cotton States Baseball League.

Having originally signed with the University of Southern Mississippi following a standout prep career at Columbus’ New Hope High School, Harris produced a collective mark of 13-7 as a two-year starter on the mound for former head coach Steve Kittrell at South Alabama. In 29 career starts for the Jaguars, Harris registered an impressive 2.7:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 159 career strikeouts and only 58 walks in 195.2 innings of work. As a senior, Harris led the South Alabama hurlers with an 8-3 record along with 95 strikeouts and a 3.61 ERA. He was named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week during the last week of April in 2011.

Prior to his move to Mobile, Ala., Harris made 18 career appearances for Rose at Meridian CC upon transferring from Southern Miss following a non-medical redshirt season in Hattiesburg. Harris compiled a two-year pitching record of 9-7 for the Eagles while boasting a 3:1 strikeout-to-ratio on the hill with 60 career strikeouts and just 20 bases on balls. As a sophomore for MCC’s NJCAA Region 23 championship team in 2009, Harris was second on the staff with a 5-3 mark and 47 strikeouts.

As a four-year letterman for former head coach Stacy Hester at New Hope, Harris posted an outstanding career prep pitching record of 33-5 with 302 career strikeouts. Twice selected all-state by the Mississippi Association of Coaches and a two-time Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America selection, Harris helped lead the 2005 Trojans to a North State runner-up finish as well as first-round state championship appearances during his sophomore and senior seasons. The 2003 New Hope squad claimed the state title during Harris’ freshman year.

Following a 9-0 record on the mound as a high school sophomore, Harris earned The Commercial Dispatch 2005 Area Player of the Year honors after registering a 10-2 record with a 1.81 ERA. As a senior, he was a Dandy Dozen preseason pick by The Clarion-Ledger en route to posting an 8-3 campaign with a 1.12 ERA.

Harris is the son of Jay and Laura Harris of Columbus. He has an older brother, Justin.

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