Chris Harris, the Vikings’ co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, has been named the Lawrence University interim head football coach Director of Athletics Mike Szkodzinski announced today.
The decision came following the unexpected resignation of head coach Mike Barthelmess. Harris will lead the Vikings into their home opener on Saturday when Lawrence hosts Maranatha Baptist University in a 7 p.m. nonconference game in the Banta Bowl.
“I was very sorry to learn of coach Barthelmess’ decision to resign as coach. The most important issue is to ensure that we maintain an excellent experience for our football players who have dedicated so much to the team and to Lawrence,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein. “As an educational institution that values athletics as an integral part of our student’s education, it is extremely important that Lawrence have a successful football program. Accordingly, we will begin a national search for the next head coach immediately.”
Harris came to Lawrence from Manchester University where he had coached from 2010 through 2012. He served as the offensive line coach and director of football operations, helping to turn around the football program during his three seasons with the Spartans. A 2000 graduate of the University of the Cumberlands, Harris previously served as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Beloit College in 2008 and 2009.
“I’m confident in Chris’ leadership as this team strives for success during the remainder of the season,” Szkodzinski said. “He has my full support as well as the support of the entire university. I know that our student-athletes and coaching staff will remain united in their dedication to the program and the season ahead.”
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.