Harp newest broncbuster
New athletic director on the job
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 23:09
Dennis P. Harp was introduced this morning during a press conference in the Hall of Fame room as the new director of athletics for Garden City Community College. Today marked his first official day on the job.
“It’s a special day for me. I feel right at home, I have been familiar with Garden City Community College for numerous years. I know you [GCCC] have a wonderful tradition,” he told a room full of supporters, employees, and area media who gathered to mark the occasion.
Harp has served the past two years as athletic development director for the University of Texas at Arlington. At GCCC, he will lead the athletic-related fund raising endeavors, as well as direct all men’s and women’s athletic programs and oversee the coaching staff.
“I think that the main thing is to know the coaches, I have met a lot of them and they are absolutely wonderful,” Harp said.
He also said that is very important to graduate our athletes, making sure they attend classes and are good citizens.
“When I was a basketball coach for 22 years, we had 96 percent of our players graduate and I always keep a list of the things that they were doing, I was really proud of the fact that they turned out to be real productive citizens,” Harp said. “What I know of our coaches is that they are placing an emphasis on that.”
Before joining UT Arlington, Harp served from 2001 to 2011 as director of corporate relations for Hardin Simmons, where he was closely involved in a major capital campaign that raised $48 million.
Harp moved up to the corporate relations position at HSU after serving there from 1988 to 2001 as head coach for men’s basketball. In addition to compiling a 190-142 win-loss record, he led his teams to three 20-win seasons. He became one of the youngest coaches in the National Collegiate Athletic Association when he took the job at the age of 31.
As assistant coach at HSU from 1985 to 1988, he served as recruiting coordinator, scouted and evaluated opponents and developed a recruitment philosophy.
Harp worked as assistant men’s basketball coach and academic counselor at South Plains in Levelland from 1980 to 1985, where he handled floor-coaching responsibilities, coordinated recruitment, counseled student athletes and assisted graduating players with career placement.
“Dr. Swender’s enthusiasm and vision for the college are some of the main things that attracted me,” Harp said, “Along with the wonderful people I met at the college and in the Garden City community.”
“I believe in the mission of the community college,” he added. “Going to a community college was the best thing I ever did.”
The selection of Harp culminated from a nationwide search that began in mid-June and drew more than 50 applicants from multiple states, said GCCC President Herbert J. Swender.
“Garden City Community College has been seeking a dynamic individual with outstanding leadership experience, not only to direct our overall athletic programs, but also in exercising vision and expertise for the development of expanded support and philanthropic resources for the benefit of Broncbuster athletics,” said Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC president. “I believe we have found that individual.”