By Bruce Campbell Staff Writer



Randy Harris says he feels like a chef who has prepared a big meal but has to leave before he can enjoy it.

Harris is leaving as the Kremlin-Hillsdale boys basketball coach just before he sees the fruits of his four-year labor.

He has accepted a position as principal and boys basketball coach at Fox High School.

"I've been wanting to get into administration,'' he said. "That will be a good move for me career-wise. They have some talent there. The boys were 14-12 last year with a pretty young team. I'm looking forward to getting down there and working with them."'

Harris was 14-77 in four years at Kremlin-Hillsdale, including a 1-23 season in 2003-04 and a 2-20 mark last season. The Broncs, who had been taking their lumps with young players, were preparing for a breakout season.

"Everything will be working for those kids next season,'' Harris said. "The next coach is going to inherit a great bunch of seniors. I predicted when I was making out the schedule that they could win from 12 to 15 games. They have some good, young underclassmen, too."'

Harris said the move was more to get into administration than leaving Kremlin-Hillsdale.

"This is exactly what I was looking for,'' he said. "I was willing to forego coaching to get into administration."'

He had set a deadline of June 15 to find a principal's job. Fox called on June 13. He interviewed and a week later was offered the job.

Brent Phelps, Fox's superintendent, is the school's football coach. He formerly coached at Hennessey. The girls basketball coach is the high school principal.

"All of us are in our mid-30s so it's going to be a pretty young staff,'' he said. "It should be a lot of fun and real exciting."'

He will report to his new job July 15. He will not be able to take his team to a summer camp because he will be in conferences and coaching clinics.

"Coach Phelps has all the boys lifting weights so they're getting stronger,'' Phelps said. "He's done a good job overseeing the summer program."'

The Foxes reached the Class C state championship in football. Fox will be small, but quick.

"They're athletic,'' Harris said.

Harris felt he would take his lumps early at Kremlin-Hillsdale because of the youth of the program. Eight players with starting experience return.

"When you're playing freshmen and sophomores like we did, you're waiting on them to become seniors,'' he said. "They're becoming more physically mature and smarter players. This move is bittersweet. I hope they have great success. I hope I had some piece in doing that. ... I have to do what's best for my family."'

Harris' attitude through the adversity was to stay positive and "keep plugging away''

"Nobody takes losses worse than I do,'' he said. "You always have to be the optimist. You see the potential in the kids. Hope is what drives you."'

The Broncs' numbers stayed at 18 to 20 through the bad times.

"That says a lot for the kids,'' Harris said. "They never quit. I've always preached if you can't learn life lessons from sports, you're doing yourself an injustice.

"Sports builds character. Whether you go 21-0 or 0-21, if you haven't learned anything from it, it hasn't done you any good. Of course, I would rather learn from winning than losing."'

New Bronc football coach Steve Hoffsommer, Harris said, should help build a winning attitude in all the school's programs.

Harris felt basketball got off to a bad start by Kremlin-Hillsdale going 0-10 in football.

"Coach Hoffsommer is going to do a good job in building the morale back in the kids,'' Harris said. "He is fired up. A good year in football can start your year off really well."'

Harris remembers apologizing to Lomega coach Eric Smith when the Broncs beat the Raiders 41-40 in the Cherokee Strip Tournament consolation semifinals to break a 24-game football/basketball losing streak.

"Our kids acted like they won the district or state championship,'' he said. "These kids had been playing sports since August and they didn't win anything until late January."'



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