Ray Harper

Ray Harper (born October 11, 1961)

Current position: Head men’s basketball coach
Current team: Jacksonville State Gamecocks
Current conference: Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun)
Kentucky Wesleyan record^: 221-40 (.847) **
Oklahoma City record^: 95-17 (.848)
Western Kentucky record: 89-64 (.582)
Jacksonville State record: 119-76 (.610)
Overall record^: 524-197 (.727) **

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  4  (2012, 2013, 2017, 2022)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0
  • CBI Appearances:  1  (2018)
  • Atlantic Sun Regular Season Champion:  1  (2022)
  • GLVC (Div II) Regular Season Champion:  3  (1998, 1999, 2000) **
  • SAC (NAIA) Regular Season Champion:  3  (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • Atlantic Sun Tournament Champion:  0
  • Ohio Valley Tournament Champion:  1  (2017)
  • Sun Belt Tournament Champion:  2  (2012, 2013)
  • GLVC (Div II) Tournament Champion:  5  (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004)
  • NCAA Division II National Championships:  2  (1999, 2001)
  • NCAA Division II Tournament Appearances:  5  (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004) **
  • NCAA Division II Tournament Final Four:  4  (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) **
  • NAIA National Championships:  2  (2007, 2008)
  • NAIA Tournament Appearances:  3  (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • NAIA Tournament Final Four:  3  (2006, 2007, 2008)

Awards:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2016-present Jacksonville State
2012-2016 Western Kentucky
2009-2012 Western Kentucky (asst)
2005-2008 Oklahoma City
1996-2005 Kentucky Wesleyan
1990-1996 Kentucky Wesleyan (assoc. HC)
1987-1990 Kentucky Wesleyan (asst)
1986-1987 VCU (grad. asst)

Ray Harper Facts

  • Lilburn Ray Harper Jr.
  • Born October 11, 1961
  • Hometown: Bremen, Kentucky
  • Alma Mater: Kentucky Wesleyan University (BS, 1985)
  • Played two years at Texas for head coach Abe Lemons before finishing his playing career at Kentucky Wesleyan for Mike Pollio
  • Spent one year as a grad assistant under Pollio at VCU before returning to KWU as an assistant to head coach Wayne Chapman
  • Promoted to associate HC on new head coach Wayne Boultinghouse’s staff from 1990-96 before becoming head coach himself
    • Won two D-II National Championships at KWU, making the title game six straight years from 1998-2003
    • Had 20 wins, 5 losses, 2 NCAA D-II runner-up finishes and one GLVC title vacated due to secondary NCAA infractions
  • Spent three years as head coach at NAIA Oklahoma City, reaching the title game each year and winning 2 NAIA national titles
  • First Division I assistant job came in 2009 when he joined Ken McDonald’s staff for three seasons at Western Kentucky
  • Named WKU’s interim head coach in January 2012 and hired as permanent head coach following the season
  • Resigned from WKU in March of 2016 and accepted the head coach position at Jacksonville State the following month
    • The Gamecocks won the 2017 Ohio Valley Tournament to earn an NCAA Tournament bid in Harper’s first year on the job
    • In the program’s first season in the Atlantic Sun, they went 13-3 to win the A-Sun title; Harper was named A-Sun COY
  • Married to WKU alumna, Shannon Harper

Ray Harper Coaching Tree

 

^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I, Division II and NAIA levels

** Listed records and accomplishments for this coach do not include wins or appearances later vacated by the NCAA