BUIES CREEK — Braxton Harris was formally introduced as head football coach Thursday in the lobby of the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center.
A packed audience filled with Campbell administration, coaches, faculty, staff, supporters, community members and media heard from university president Dr. J. Bradley Creed, athletic director Hannah Bazemore and Harris during the gathering.
Harris had previously served on the staff of former Camels coach Mike Minter.
“In the two years Coach Harris was here in Buies Creek, he not only made an impact in the program by bringing in back-to-back number one FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) recruiting classes, but he made an even bigger impact in the community,” Bazemore said. “Coach Harris and his family are everywhere, heavily involved and invested in their church, the community and here at Campbell. We are so excited in bringing them back home.”
Campbell made a lasting impression on its new coach.
“The moment we stepped foot on this campus we felt, and we knew that this was a special place, and we felt blessed to be here and to be a part of this place,” Harris said. “Today is a dream come true for us to be able to be back as your head football coach, and to be able to lead this football program. Today is truly a great day to be a Camel.”
Harris was announced as the third head coach in CU’s modern football history (since 2008) on January 2.
“I’m excited to be able to begin this process and continue to build this program,” Harris said. “We will build this program together. We will build this program with our administration, our faculty, our alumni, our student body, and our student-athletes all working in the same direction.
“We need everyone on the same team, fighting as one as we continue to push this program forward. We will build a program that will make everyone proud to be a Campbell Camel. Roll Humps!”
Harris, a native of Mexia, Texas, spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons on staff at Campbell, returns to Buies Creek after spending 2023 as head coach at FCS Southland Conference member Houston Christian.
At HCU, Harris coached the Huskies to their first winning season in program history, going 6-5 overall after inheriting a program that had won more than two games once in the previous six years. HCU also fashioned its first winning record in conference play, going 4-3 in the SLC and finishing fourth in the league after being picked last in the preseason poll.
In his first stop at CU, Harris served as associate head coach and linebackers coach in addition to recruiting coordinator duties under Minter, who resigned in December 2023 after 11 seasons.
Under Harris’ guidance, the Camels hauled in the top signing classes in the FCS in back-to-back seasons, a feat he matched in his first year at HCU, making him responsible for the subdivision’s top recruiting class for three consecutive years. In December 2021, Harris and the Camels signed three of the FCS’ top-10 recruits.
In his first season at Campbell in 2021, Harris helped the Camels rank fourth in the FCS in takeaways (25) and defensive touchdowns (4). Linebacker CJ Tillman earned freshman All-America honors and was a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman in the FCS.
Campbell also placed a program-record 12 student-athletes on All-Big South teams in 2022, including Tillman, while safety Myles Rowser was named to the Bluebloods’ freshman All-America Team.
Prior to his initial tenure at Campbell, Harris was the head coach at Howard Payne in Brownwood, Texas, from 2017-19, also making stops at Texas Lutheran, Waco High School, and at his alma mater, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, in Belton, Texas, where he played quarterback.
The Camels will kick off the 2024 season on the road at Liberty on August 31.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)