After climbing the college football coaching ranks for nearly a decade, Owensboro native Harris Bivin has finally caught his big break. The Apollo High School alum will join Brian Kelly’s coaching staff at Louisiana State University (LSU) next season as the Assistant Director of Football Operations.
Like many young professionals trying to make it as a college coach, Bivin has spent a large part of his career working many hours for little pay. After many part-time positions, side hustles, and sacrifices, Bivin can now call himself a coach in arguably the most prestigious conference in college football.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Bivin said. “Just 3 months ago, I was coaching at Morehead State University in the Pioneer League – and I loved it there – but now, I’ll be coaching in the best conference in college football.”
His roommate at Morehead, Miles Fishback, is ironically also headed to the SEC; he’ll join Bobby Petrino at Texas A&M. Bivin’s tenure at Morehead ended just a few months ago when he transitioned to a position at Missouri State before jumping on the one-of-a-kind opportunity.
“You have to put in your time and due diligence. I’ve met many people who have helped with jobs here or there,” Bivin said. “It’s all about putting the time in, forming relationships, and doing a good job because you never know when an opportunity will present itself.”
Bivin stood out on Apollo’s offensive line before joining the Murray State Racers for the 2010 campaign. He was a four-year letter winner and a two-year captain with 30 starts in 39 games, playing on some of the Racer’s most prolific offensive teams, including the record-setting 2012 squad.
After graduating from Murray State, he played two seasons in the Arena Football League before returning to Murray as a graduate assistant (GA). He transitioned from there to a GA position at Western Kentucky University before heading to Sanford University in Birmingham, AL.
At Sanford, he coached tackles and tight ends and got his first taste of the operations realm. He left there for his first full-time position, serving as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Dodge City Community College in Kansas. After helping transition 15 athletes to Division 1, he took a similar position at Fort Scott Community College.
He eventually landed at Morehead State University as the director of football operations and the offensive line coach before taking the position at Missouri State. He informed Ryan Beard, head coach at Missouri State, that he had applied for the job, and well, the rest is history.
Bivin looks to move to Baton Rouge as the university approaches the end of spring break. He’ll waste no time diving in, playing his role to make LSU a contender for a national championship.
Bivin’s brother Hunter Bivin played for Kelly during his tenure at Notre Dame. He presently serves as the director of player development for the Fighting Irish in South Bend.
Bivin wanted to reiterate to Owensboro athletes to stay the course and ignore the distractions and naysayers.
“Owensboro has been great. I was born and raised there, and I keep up with a lot of people from there,” Bivin said. “You always hear about the (recruiting) hotbeds of Georgia, Texas, and Florida, but it just takes one coach to fall in love with you. You can’t just post on social media and expect it to fall into place. You have to meet people, network, perform, and more than anything, you have to work.”