Former Refugio coach retires with honors

July 26, 2011 at 2:26 a.m.

FORT WORTH - Retired might be the wrong word for George Harris.

Harris put over 4,000 miles on his car during the month of June.

Harris followed his grandson, East Bernard junior Ty Slanina, to the 7-on-7 state championship in College Station and to football combines around Texas.

Harris also keeps busy traveling from his home in Portland to his ranch in George West where he takes care of his horses and cows.

The 73-year-old recently ended a 51-year coaching career in December, when he resigned as the athletic director and head football coach at Gregory-Portland.

He spent 32 years at Gregory-Portland and 19 at Refugio after beginning his coaching career as an assistant under Ray Akins at G-P.

Harris had an overall head coaching record of 195-53-1 that included 13 district championships, four semifinal appearances and 59 playoff games.

Harris coached track and field for 30 years and led his teams to 24 district, 15 regional and six state championships with one runner-up and two third-place finishes.

He also coached the Refugio girls to five consecutive state track and field championships from 1985 to 1989.

Harris will be recognized for his accomplishments by his peers Wednesday with his induction into the Texas High School Coaches Association's Hall of Honor.

The induction ceremonies will be held at 1 p.m. at a luncheon at the Omni Hotel.

"It's a great honor," Harris said. "I always hoped it would happen in my life."

Harris attended Victoria College where he was the national champion in the 100-yard dash in 1957 and was a member of two national championship teams.

He went on to Texas A&I (Texas A&M-Kingsville) where he was a member of the mile-relay team that won the Lone Star Conference championship in 1959.

Harris admits he'll miss coaching, especially when the football season begins.

"You do that for 51 years and you miss it," Harris said. "I'll really miss those kids."

Harris will stay involved with football by watching Slanina, who will be the starting quarterback at East Bernard.

"I'm looking forward to watching my grandson play," Harris said.

NOTES: The District 14-2A, Division II game between Schulenburg and Weimar on Friday, Sept. 30, will be the DQ Big Game of the Week. Fox Sports Southwest will be in the communities on game day and highlights will be featured on High School Scoreboard Live at midnight and on High School Spotlight on Sunday at noon. . Former Victoria High quarterback and Cuero assistant coach Charlie Reeve has left Texas State to become an assistant coach at Odessa Permian. Reeve will coach wide receivers for the Panthers.



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