Local Youth Basketball Coach Gone

Posted by Andy Durham on October 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm under Amateur | 14 Comments to Read

Mike Harris, who spent a lot of time over the years, coaching youth basketball at the Central YMCA, passed away back on Friday……Mike coached with Sneaky Williamson, Jack Cassels, Dave Farris, Mike Booth, Gary Thomas, Dan Thomas, Ted Wilson and others in the league at the Central Y, on West Market Street, for many years…..

Mike spent a lot of time helping the kids and he would always go by and give a kid a ride to games, at the Y or to the AAU basketball road trips…..Mike stood by the kids and he spent time helping with counseling programs, in the Guilford County Schools…..Mike would be there to help the kids and many of the single-parent moms were glad a man like Mike, was around to help mentor the children….

He saw many of the kids he worked with move up to the next level, playing basektball in high school and college….

Mike Harris will be missed and it is always sort of sad to see how this pattern of death, works in threes…..Darren Stevens from WBFJ Family Radio, 92.3/107.5, 98.7 and 101.1 radio…gone at age 42……..General Norman Johnson from the Chairman of the Board, dead and gone at age 69 or 71 or 75 depending on who you talk to…….And Mike Harris, a man that loved to help the kids and coach the hoops, he’s gone to……We will have more details on Mike, as the week progresses…..

*****Poor Otis(Darren, General Johnson, Mike,) dead and gone, left us here to carry on/sing this song…..Kid with the ball trying to get his game on, Poor Otis(Mike, Darren and the General) dead and Gone…..Or something like that, or to that extent…..Great memories of all three of these community-minded persons….*****


  • Andy Symmes said,

    Mike Harris served the youth of Greensboro and was a great example to the young men who played for him at the Central Y. He was a great coach and competitor! He spent countless hours picking kids up and taking them home just to insure they had a chance to play and that they returned home safely. I will miss seeing Mike at high school games here in Guilford county, as I am sure many other will too.
    Back in the day, he also had a a nice, soft left-handed jumper that he will be remembered for too.
    My condolences to his family.
    Andy Symmes

  • Rick Melton said,

    I coached in those Y leagues with Gary, Mike Booth , Dave and Mike Harris and man we had some great battles among all of us but we were all freinds who loved the game and the kids. Mike Harris was a great guy and its a shame another good man is gone. My sympathies to his loved ones.

  • chris harrelson said,

    I want to take time out and talk about a man that changed most of the boys and girls life my age..this man started me on the right path making sure i was on top of my school work and keeping me in the gym…he was more than a coach to me back then he was a father and a person i looked up to ima miss u man and i love you dude…r.i.p. COACH HARRIS

  • the reader family said,

    Coach Harris was instramental in developing many of our youth. Not only did he help them become outstanding basketball players, he helped them become fine young men. He will truely be missed. R.I.P

  • Andy said,

    Mike Harris, very well thought of and as everyone is saying, we’ve lost another good one……

  • jeff joyce said,

    I had the honor and privilege of working with Mike at the Y as the Sports Director for about 6-7 years. Greensboro lost a legend on Friday! Hawk was a person that I looked up too personally and professionally and sought to be like. The only thing that mattered was that kids got an opportunity. He will be missed greatly by the youth of Greensboro. He played a significant role in keeping young men on the right path! He used basketball as a means to teach kids that they had a shot at achieving everything and anything they wanted to do. Spoke with Mike just two weeks ago and he seemed to be enjoying retirement but mentioned that he was just missing the day to day contact with kids. My condolences go out to his family and I hope they know that Hawk is in a better place.

  • wavey boyd said,

    coach mike harris will never be for gotten one of the best coachs to ever step foot in a gym not only did he teach you the game he showed you how to be a better man in this world. R.I .P MIKE HARRIS

  • Matthew King said,

    Rest In Peace Mike Harris (Coach Harris) an amazing man who did more for young black men like myself than any Government official in Greensboro could ever dream of. we need more people like him in this world and Heaven just got that much better. thanks for everything Coach Harris you will be missed… A Legend as truly been lost

  • Richard Sherman said,

    Every once in a while a person crosses your path that epitomizes what it means to give unselfishly of yourself. Mike was that person. I moved here 15 years ago and he was one of the first guys that I met, shooting that left-handed jumper at Lindley Park. I can remember him asking me to volunteer coach at the Central YMCA where I continue to coach to this day. Mike knew every youth in the Triad that ever picked up a basketball and for those youth that didn’t pick up a ball he knew of them through the Guilford County school system. I am blessed and honored to have crossed paths with such a giving soul. I thank him for all he has taught my kids and for what he has taught me as it pertains to volunteering and giving back to his community. He is truly a legend and will be remembered for years and years to come. I’m sure Mike is Heaven right now organizing a basketball league; coaches like Mike just don’t walk away from the game. R.I.P Mike, you will never be forgotten and that comes from Devon, Lauryn, and their Dad Richard.

  • Keyford said,

    Hawk will always be remembered in the community. There sure aren’t many people that will take the time to mentor kids and young coaches like Mike did. I hope that all of the people he touched will give back some how. Mike always had encouraging words for me and my 4 boys. The Langleys will miss you Mike. R.I.P.

  • Andy said,

    Some very good thoughts on Mike and maybe a thought for the day might apply directly to Mike……As Mr. Randy Travis said so well a few years back:

    “It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it what’s you leave behind you when you go”……

  • Kimberly Westbrook said,

    Sending my deepest condolences to the family of Mike Harris, sad times. Coach Harris worked with my brother when he was a youth during the late 80’s….he has always been around helping kids from as long as I can remember, which is why I made sure my son Jordan got the opportunity to experience one of the greatest coaches ever! Mike, when I finally got up enough nerve to tell Jordan about your passing……his words were “he taught me everything”….I told him that you created a wonderful foundation and his job is to never forget the gifts you gave him, take them and push on in your memory…. Just yesterday he came home with a sticker on his shirt pledging to remain drug free…you played a major part in his decision. Coach Harris, Jordan and I will forever miss you. I appreciate you Mike, thank you for everything…You’re an angel!!! May you rest in peace now. Kimberly and Jordan Westbrook

  • Lydia P. Harris said,

    The Harris Family would like to thank each and every one of you who commented and gave their condolences. As you are, we are deeply saddened by his home-going. He had such an impact in our lives as well as many people in the community and state, that we will never know how to replace him!
    He will forever be in our hearts, and he was definitely ONE OF A KIND!
    Rest in peace our mentor, our teacher, our friend and our brother……… God will take care of you now.

  • Monty Bumper said,

    I have known Mike Harris for almost 30 years. Coach Harris was one of many people I ran across during my youth that helped to develop my love for basketball. That love helped me compete on successful teams at Greensboro Day School under another great coach in Freddy Johnson and eventually at the division 1 the college level. Mike thank you for all you did in the community and you will not be forgotten.