Local high school coach wins award from USA Football

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — USA football honored Douglas Freeman JV football head coach Eric Harris Wednesday night as part of its “Thanks Coach” contest. Harris wins a $2500-dollar equipment grant and a trip to the USA Football convention in Orlando. Harris works a regular nine to five job, and he also coaches three different groups of young men. Below is description of what he does from USA Football.

Coach Harris has been coaching now for 19 years once his college playing days ended. He immediately began his coaching career in one of the roughest parts of Richmond as he wanted to help give the young men the same opportunity that football had given him. He is from Detroit and credits football for saving his life and expresses that through his work with young men. He currently is coaching at Douglas Freeman High School and when asked if he could coach his son’s 12-year-old youth team, he jumped at coaching on the youth level as well.

Starting his career in law enforcement only to resign because he wanted to make an impact on young men’s lives, Coach Harris is now the owner of Broken Chain Foundation – a therapeutic mentoring company that works with at-risk youth. A huge portion of the program is an emphasis on athletic or artistic outlets. He has sponsored hundreds of kids in the Richmond area whose families couldn’t afford for them to play. In addition to his work at the Broken Chain Foundation, Coach Harris started a training company and works with many of the area’s top high school players during the offseason. He takes young men to college camps for exposure, provides mentoring, academic help and to this day every young man whose trained with him for two years or more is somewhere playing college football.