Former NBA Coach of the Year and Milligan College alumnus Del Harris drew from his faith and his legendary coaching career to write a new book, “On Point,” about becoming a positive influencer.
Harris will visit Milligan to sign copies of his book on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 2:30 p.m. in the P.H. Welshimer Memorial Library. His appearance is part of the “Celebrating Milligan Authors” event to be held during the college’s Homecoming weekend festivities.
The book examines various “life teams”—family, school, workplace, church and other institutions—and how “players” on those teams can increase their influence and create positive outcomes. Harris uses sports analogies and relates them to everyday life, while supporting the propositions from a scriptural perspective.
“It is basically the other side of the ‘leadership coin,’” Harris said. “Every group can only have one or two actual leaders. The key to winning teams is for the role players to support one another in a process I call developing their ‘Influence Quotient.’ We all want to be of influence for good on our life teams, and this tells how to do that. In the process leadership skills are enhanced, as well.”
In the author’s acknowledgements, Harris, a 1959 Milligan alumnus, thanks the college for “the base” it helped him establish. Harris has been associated with seven NBA teams over a 37-year period. He served as head coach of the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was NBA Coach of the Year in 1995.
He became the 19th NBA coach to earn 500 wins while with the Lakers. He has a varied background, having coached with five different countries’ national teams; is an ordained minister in the Christian church; and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). He is currently general manager for the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, the Mavericks’ affiliate.
Before he became a coaching legend, he was a student athlete in the NAIA at Milligan from 1955-59, as a baseball pitcher and guard on the basketball team. Harris was racking up 36-point games long before the existence of a 3-point line. He earned Honorable Mention All-American Honors under head coach Duard Walker.
In addition to his coaching distinctions, Harris is involved in numerous community and philanthropic endeavors.
At the 2010 NBA All Star Game, Athletes in Action presented Harris with the Jerry Colangelo Award for character and contributions on and off the court. At Milligan, he is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Service awards.
To find out more about Harris or his book, visit www.onpointlifeteam.com. To learn more about Milligan, visit www.milligan.edu.