As we grow our Racial Equity and Access in Youth Sports Task Force to Southeast San Diego this month, it is of particular pride to recognize one of the architects of this expansion and pillar of the community, Jeff Harper Harris, as our Game Changer of the Month. As a coach and mentor to youth, Jeff has been honored with the Martin Luther King Human Dignity Award and was named the Blue Heart Foundation’s Man of the Year in 2018.
Coach Jeff, whose motto is “It’s Bigger Than Basketball,” founded the San Diego Cougars Basketball club three decades ago with the goal of helping to keep kids off the streets and out of gangs for as long as possible by helping to teach the game of basketball as a tool for handling life’s lessons and promoting education. The organization, to date, has allowed legions of young men and women to attend college and fulfill their potential as positive role models in their own right.
Coach Jeff is also co-founder of Athletes and Coaches Against Bullying, an organization that works to help bring attention to bullying on middle school and high school campuses by empowering athletes and coaches to take a stand against bullying and proactively “pledge” to put forth a culture of acceptance, understanding, and empathy.
Most recently, Jeff launched Coaches For Racial Equality, a bi-weekly Zoom-based townhall he moderates for coaches, athletes, parents, and officials to discuss racism and social justice within the community and beyond.
For more than thirty years, Jeff has coached basketball in professional, high school, AAU, BCI, PAL, and National Travel Club environments. Most recently, Jeff returned to his roots coaching boys at Lincoln High School.
Jeff Harper Harris has been the center of gravity for our youth equity ambitions in Southeast San Diego, and we couldn’t be prouder to celebrate his achievements as our Game Changer of the Month!
Positive Coaching Alliance and Coaching Corps are joining forces to become a powerhouse organization dedicated to optimizing the positive impact of youth coaches on kids. Because when every child has access to a game-changing coach trained in youth development, s/he is able to gain life skills through sport, build healthy habits, and become beacons for positive change in their communities.