WICHITA – As Friends University Associate VP of Athletics Dr. Rob Ramseyer conducted the search for a new head football coach, there were certain elements that were critical for the new coach to possess. It’s safe to say that Terry Harrison checks every box and then some that Ramseyer was seeking and that’s why he has been named the new Friends University football head coach.
“We are excited to welcome Terry to Friends University as our new head football coach,” said Ramseyer.
“In talking to him, I think the thing I am most excited about is he gets who we are because it is who he is. He fits. He understands our mission and what we want to do as a University and athletic department. He is going to win here but even more so he will impact lives far beyond the field.”
Harrison appears to be the perfect choice in leading the Falcon football program forward, as he will arrive on campus after transforming fellow KCAC member Bethel College into a conference and national power.
“I’m delighted for this new season of Falcons Football under the leadership of Coach Harrison,” said Dr. Amy Bragg Carey, Friends University President. “We believe that he will bring a positive, faith-filled team culture and set us on a path for success on and off the field.”
After taking over a Bethel program in 2018 that was 1-9 and at the bottom of the league the previous season, Harrison’s impact was felt immediately as he installed the flexbone offense and guided the team to finish third in the NAIA in rushing offense (274.4) per game.
The following season, Harrison would begin to affect the wins column by leading the Threshers to a second-place showing in the KCAC with an 8-3 overall record. Bethel continued to climb the leaderboard nationally, finishing tops in the NAIA in total rushing offense (4,084) and rushing offense per game (371.3) while ranking third in passing efficiency (180.3).
The best was yet to come as the next season, Harrison and the Threshers captured a Co-KCAC regular season championship and an NAIA national playoff berth to wind up No. 13 in the final NAIA FirstDown PlayBook Top 25 poll. The conference championship was the Threshers’ first since 2007 and the national playoff appearance represented the first since the 2006 campaign and only the third in school history.
Once again, Harrison’s squad set the standard nationally in rushing, leading the country in both total rushing offense (3828) and rushing offense per game (348.0) for the second consecutive season.
Harrison had the Threshers rolling again this year with a 9-2 overall record and a 9-1 league mark that netted the squad their second consecutive co-KCAC regular season title along with a final NAIA national ranking of 17th.
Harrison is embarking on his second go-round as a head coach of the Falcons in Wichita, as he spent five seasons as the head coach of the Wichita Heights High School Falcons. At Heights, Harrison guided the team to four Kansas 5A regional titles, a district championship and a Greater-Area Wichita-League title along with a 38-16 overall record. In 2016, Harrison was named the City-League Coach of the Year.
“I’m excited to get to work at Friends University,” said Harrison. “The shared vision of President Carey and Dr. Rob Ramseyer, along with our commitment to building a program that everyone can be proud of is something I couldn’t pass up.”
He has also been afforded the opportunity to speak at multiple coaching clinics, with the most recent engagement being the Tulsa Glazier Mega Clinic in 2016.
Harrison was a three-year captain at Sterling College and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Health. He then earned his Masters of Science in School Leadership from Baker University in 2011.
“More than anything, I’m excited about creating a big time program for the players here at Friends University,” said Harrison. “I’m proud to be their new coach and can’t wait to build something truly special with them!”