Tulane turns to Northern Iowa’s Harris as new AD

Tulane has hired Northern Iowa‘s David Harris to be its next athletic director, the school announced Tuesday.

Harris has been UNI’s athletic director since 2016, and he has held numerous prominent positions in the athletics space. He’s part of the 40-member Division I Council and has been selected as the chair of the NCAA women’s basketball oversight committee for 2023-24.

Harris, a native of Baton Rouge, also brings significant football experience. As the senior associate athletic director at Iowa State, he was the school’s sport administrator for both football and men’s basketball. He has also worked in the athletic departments at Wisconsin and his alma mater, Ole Miss.

“My career began supporting the academic pursuits of student-athletes and it has always been important to me to find a place that combines world-class academics with a pursuit of excellence in all of its athletic endeavors,” Harris said in a statement. “President (Michael) Fitts is committed to the well-being, academic achievement and lifelong success of Tulane’s student-athletes and continuing to build an athletics program that matches the university’s nationally renowned research and academics.”

Harris is the second consecutive athletic director to go to Tulane from Northern Iowa. Recently departed Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen, now at Washington, came from UNI in 2016.

Dannen hired football coach Willie Fritz, who helped usher in a football renaissance at Tulane. The Green Wave have gone 22-3 over the past two seasons, including a Cotton Bowl win over USC last year.

Fritz had lobbied for continuity and the promotion of deputy athletic director Korte Gosha, who was considered a strong candidate for the job. Harris’ immediate task will be keeping Fritz, who is expected to emerge as a candidate for many of the open jobs in the upcoming cycles.

Tulane hosts UTSA on Friday, with the winner clinching a spot in the AAC title game.

Harris will begin his new role Jan. 3.

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