A successful athletic director must be willing to make tough decisions, and according to former colleagues, there’s no better decision-maker than Shawn Harris, who has taken the reins of many big name companies throughout his professional career. Shawn Harris’ passion, energy and commitment to leadership, athletics and, now Westcliff University, make him ideal to fill this key leadership position.
Westcliff University Athletics is committed to achieving excellence through high level coaching, academics and inclusion. Our values include a respect for all people, building partnerships with the community and the encouragement of innovation, leadership and creativity. The university was fortunate to have a strong field of highly qualified athletic director candidates from which to choose from. Shawn Harris came out on top and will serve Westcliff’s mission and the athletes well.
“This athletic program has so much potential and I look forward to being part of the growth.” Shawn Harris said, “From the new facilities and resources, to the faculty, staff and students, Westcliff is an impressive institution. The more I learn, the more I see its future impact on the community and in the collegiate sports realm. I want to tell everyone about all of the great things that Westcliff is doing, and for the Warrior athletics, it needs to start with me.”
His deep-seated experience in academia, combined with his profound love for sports make for a well-rounded and passionate athletics director, which is exactly what this fast growing Westcliff athletics department needs. His resources and connections as a current sports agent will be crucial in the growth of the program.
Harris arrives at Westcliff after serving as an assistant coach at Vanguard University and 15 years at the high school level throughout the Inland Empire as a varsity coach, coaching men and women’s; and he also gathered valuable experience on the Junior College scene at Mt. San Jacinto College as a men’s assistant coach, with responsibilities in player development, academic mentorship, and top recruiting coordinator due to his strong relationships with sponsored AAU programs.
Before becoming a coach, Shawn was a distinguished retail executive with the top Fortune 500 companies in various locations throughout Southern California. In 2010, he was recognized for his tireless work in the community, and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Menifee for several years, modeling the way for “service before self.”
He also founded Erudition Leadership Academy and ELA ELITE, who’s mission is to provide resources to stimulate education, leadership, and social growth; building character by equipping our youth with the vital skills necessary to become effective leaders in their immediate communities through empowerment, discipline, self-respect simultaneously through sport development. The organization serves as a viaduct to unify parents and educators, community leaders, local businesses, and all other community agencies that are dedicated and committed to the development of social and ethical behavior of our youth, utilizing sports as a powerful elixir to build confidence and promote unity in our community. Shawn has a spirit of progression not perfection.
As a decorated military veteran of the United States Marine Corps for eight years, he understands the importance of strong leadership, discipline, and he has demonstrated countless times that respect, integrity, hard work and dedication, has no substitute and is imperative for success.
Shawn grew up in Berlin, MD, and earned a bachelor’s of science degree in management from the University of Phoenix. He recently finished the Master of Arts program at Concordia University – Irvine with the emphasis in Coaching and Athletic Administration. Shawn is currently a Doctorate of Education – Organizational Leadership candidate at Grand Canyon University. He and his wife, Neki, have three children total, two which are young adults in college: Dionte’, and Deshaun, as well as their youngest, Dominick Harris, who is a high profile high school athlete that recently announced his commitment to playing for Mark Few at Gonzaga University.