BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Jim Harrick has returned to the
basketball coaching ranks, hired Tuesday to run the new Bakersfield
Jam entry in the NBA Development League.
Harrick, 67, resumes his career three years after resigning at
the University of Georgia and 10 years after being fired at UCLA.
"I've been sitting around doing nothing," he told The
(Bakersfield) Californian. "I think my wife wanted it more than I
did. Get me out of the house. It'll hurt my [golf] handicap, but
that's what I do. That's all I've done my whole life."
Harrick had spent the last three years scouting for the NBA's
Denver Nuggets and traveling to China to help develop basketball
Jam co-owner Steve Chase said he believes that Harrick can be
the difference that makes Bakersfield successful in the 12-team
"We searched around and we feel like we've found probably the
best coach that wasn't already under contract somewhere else in
America," he said.
Harrick's 470-235 career record includes guiding UCLA to the
1995 national championship. He was fired the following season over
a false expense report. He said he has a letter from the NCAA
exonerating him from any wrongdoing.
"I've never done anything that I needed to have that," he
said. "I got it in case I have to show it to someone."
Harrick said his son, Jim Jr., would not be on his staff in
Bakersfield. The younger Harrick was fired from Georgia because of
alleged money given to a recruit and preferred academic treatment.
Harrick took the new job because he lives in Orange County and
remain close to his family, including eight grandchildren.
"When I started years ago, I only asked to have a team to
coach," he said. "That's all I ever wanted. To have that again,
to me, is really exciting."