Dr. Judson Harris
The second director of athletics in JU history, Dr. Judson Harris took the reins of the athletic department and led the program to new heights in his 14 years in charge of the Dolphins.

His tenure saw the JU basketball team play for the national title, the men’s rowing team win national titles as well as the baseball team finishing ranked in the top 25.

One of Dr. Harris’ enduring qualities was his ability to keep JU moving forward.

With the emergence of conference affiliation in the mid-1970s, Dr. Harris was going to make sure JU was not left behind. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Sun Belt Conference, which JU helped found in 1975 and was a member of until 1998.

He was a part of the administration that moved JU’s home basketball games in 1970 from tiny Swisher Gymnasium to the spacious Jacksonville Coliseum, where the Dolphins became a mainstay in front of sellout crowds.

“Dr. Harris was so important to the success of all the teams at JU,” said JU alumnus and athletics Hall of Fame member Brad Negaard. “He supported the teams, but he also supported the student-athletes. He made sure that we had an enjoyable college experience while letting us know that he was 100 percent behind our efforts.”

The Golden Era of JU Athletics
During Dr. Harris’ tenure at JU, the Dolphins accomplished...

  • Seven postseason appearances in basketball (4 NCAA, 3 NIT)
    -An appearance in the 1970 national title game vs. UCLA
    -Saw JU win a school-record 27 games in 1970
    -Two trips to the NIT Final Four in New York City
  • Baseball made three NCAA Regional appearances
    -Finished the year ranked in the top 25 four times
    -Came up a game short of a trip to the College World Series in 1976
    -Saw JU win a school-record 45 games in 1976
  • The men’s rowing team competing for national championships
  • Men’s soccer going undefeated in 1969, going 15-0-1
    Dr. Judson Harris

    Introduction by Roger Strickland, JU Athletics Hall of Fame member and current chairman of the Hall of Fame

    Acceptance Speech by Dr. Judson Harris