Matt Harris is in his third year as the head strength and conditioning coach with the Irvine Valley men's tennis program. He is also joining the IVC women's staff as an assistant coach in the spring 2017 season.
He joined the Irvine Valley men's program before the 2016 season and his work with the players and their strength and fitness paid immediate dividends. The team finished with an overall record of 21-2 and won its second straight CCCAA state title.
Harris has more than 20 years of experience training athletes.
Harris has trained youth, high school, collegiate and Olympic athletes. He began as a student manager with University of Arizona Softball in 1995. He assisted Coach Mike Candrea and staff with skill development, strength and conditioning and practice and game management.
During his three seasons with Arizona softball, the squad won two NCAA National Championships and two Pac-10 Championships.
After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology, he moved to Northern California where he served as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Pacific Union College men's basketball team and worked as an assistant there for two seasons.
In 2007, Harris teamed up with Randy Bessolo at San Francisco University High School (UHS) where he served as the head strength and conditioning coach and assistant boys varsity basketball coach for four seasons.
University won three consecutive league titles, made the CIF State Final Four his last two seasons and won 101 games. Much of the team's success was attributed to Harris' strength and conditioning program, which prepared the athletes for an up-tempo, full court press style of play.
During his time at University High, Harris individually trained and mentored several athletes who went on to play at the collegiate level.
In 2014, Harris earned his master's degree from Long Beach State in Kinesiology: Coaching and Student-Athlete Development. His research focused on sport specific training to improve strength and power, motor skill development, anaerobic capacity and self efficacy.
He served on Dan Monson's staff as the men's basketball volunteer graduate assistant for two seasons and assisted as the director of operations in his final season.
He executed on and off-court duties of player skill development, academic development, weight room workouts, training on the track, travel planning, breakdown of game film, administrative tasks and supervising the team managers for practice and game preparations. Long Beach State was the regular season Big West Champions in 2012-2013 season.
After graduating at the top of his class with a 4.0 grade point average, he was presented with two Department of Kinesiology distinctions: Graduate Student Honors award and Subdisciplinary: Coaching and Student-Athlete Development award.
The following summer, he was hired to teach advanced strength and conditioning in the Kinesiology Department at Long Beach State, where he continues to teach, along with courses in sports psychology, social issues in sport and U.S. sports history.
In 2014, Harris founded OC Performance Fitness where he prepares high school and colligate tennis, basketball and volleyball athletes to compete at their highest ability.
He has helped several athletes improve their recruiting status and national ranking, notably, tennis player Bjorn Hoffman (Corona del Mar High, '16) who rose from a 4 star to a blue-chip recruit (top 25 nationally) in eight short months, winning his first USTA 18-and-under singles title and moving him from a mid-major tennis recruit to a Pac-12 signee (UC Berkeley).
In 2015, Harris became the head strength and conditioning coach for men's tennis at Irvine Valley.
He has teamed up with Ross Duncan and Zoran Korac, Jr. to implement a strength and conditioning program, continue to build upon the championship culture, ready the team to try and repeat as state champions, while preparing the athletes to compete academically and athletically at the 4-year collegiate level.
Over the years, Harris has gained invaluable experience and knowledge from his education, experience, coaching mentors, athletes, friends and family.
All of which has helped develop his passion for passing this knowledge on and instilling the Spirit of a Champion into the athletes he works with.
Harris uses his knowledge and expertise to assist young student-athletes realize their potential in the classroom and on the court by helping athletes develop Discipline, Relationships, Enthusiasm, Action steps, Mental toughness, Balance, Integrity, and the confidence to Go for Greatness! D.R.E.A.M B.I.G.G.
Harris lives in Huntington Beach with his wife Kristin, daughter Lily and son Levi.
Outside of teaching and coaching, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, surfing and training for sprint triathlons.