Dinos hand coaching reins to Wayne Harris, Jr.

Harris has been in Dinos fold for nearly 40 years as a player, alumnus and assistant coach

February 13, 2015 – The University of Calgary Dinos didn’t have to go far to find their next head football coach.

Wayne Harris, Jr., the new University of Calgary Dinos head football coach.
Wayne Harris, Jr., the new University of Calgary Dinos head football coach.

Athletic director Ron Wuotila announced Thursday that Wayne Harris, Jr. will become the sixth head coach in University of Calgary history, bringing full-circle a career and a life that has been associated with Dinos football.

For nearly 40 years, Harris has been involved with the Dinos as a player, alumnus, assistant coach, and most recently, defensive co-ordinator. He has been involved as an assistant coach in three separate stints between 1989 and 2014, being part of seven Hardy Cup championship teams and the 1995 Vanier Cup triumph.

Sustaining a tradition of excellence

“The tradition of excellence within the University of Calgary football program allows for success between staff, the university, the athletic department, and the 5th Quarter association,” said Harris. “My immediate role with the team as the head coach of the football program will be to ensure academic success of our players, ensure current players begin their off-season training and most importantly support recruiting.

“I am extremely confident the Dinos football program will continue to achieve excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.”

“I am thrilled to announce Wayne as our next football coach,” Wuotila says. “Wayne has committed a lifetime to football and the Dinos, and there is no doubt that he is the right man to lead this talented group of student-athletes and coaches.”

A long and storied history with the Dinos

The son of Calgary Stampeders legend Wayne Harris, Sr., Harris starred as a two-sport athlete for the Dinos from 1977-81 in both football and wrestling. He was a three-time Canada West all-star at linebacker and added a conference wrestling title in 1980. He spent four seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Stampeders, B.C. Lions, and Toronto Argonauts before retiring in 1984, when he joined the Calgary Board of Education.

Over the course of his coaching career with the Dinos, Harris has been part of seven Hardy Cup championship teams and participated in four Vanier Cups, including the 1995 championship season under former head coach Peter Connellan. In 2006, Harris received the Gino Fracas Award recognizing the top volunteer coach in CIS football, and in 2014 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Dinos Fifth Quarter Association in recognition of nearly four decades of involvement with the program.

He has been the Dinos’ defensive co-ordinator for the past four seasons and was head coach of the Calgary Colts from 1991-93. He also spent 25 years as a coach in Calgary high school football at Sir Winston Churchill, Henry Wise Wood, and William Aberhart. His son, James, played as a linebacker for the Dinos in the mid-2000s.

The Dinos will be back on the field for spring camp at McMahon Stadium April 29-May 3.