Bryson Harper enters his first year at the helm of the Bryan College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field programs.
In his first season, the teams saw immediate success with the new coach. He led a record 7 men to All-Conference honors, when only 10 awards are given. Five of the men were also awarded AAC All-Freshmen honors. On the women’s side he led two athletes to Conference awards, one as an All-Conference runner and the other as an All-Freshmen team runner.
He continued the streak at the National stage, where the men’s team finished 13th at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, and he had one runner gain All-American status for their performance.
For his quick rise to success, Harper was named the AAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. He said, “It is a blessing to be able to be a part of such a competitive team that consistently performs on such a high level. I am very excited for my future and the teams’ future as we continue to be dedicated to success on both the men’s and women’s sides.”
Harper comes to the coaching position after graduating from Bryan in 2012. As a member of the cross country and track and field teams, he was instrumental in leading the Lions to their 7th place finish at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in 2010, where he earned the first ever Bryan College Cross Country All-American Award. He followed that up the next year with a 10th-place individual place on the National stage, leading the team to 11th place overall. As a Lion, he amassed 6 total All-American awards in Cross Country (twice), Indoor Track (Mile, 3,000m, and Distance Medley Relay), and Outdoor Track (Steeplechase). As one of the most decorated athletes in Bryan history with 9 school records, he received the Lion of Valor Award his senior year, given by the athletics department to the student-athlete who successfully demonstrates Christian values on and off the field. He was also a Capital One Academic All-American for his successes in the classroom as well as on the track. The Bryan College Exercise and Health Science Department named him the Most Outstanding Senior his last year at Bryan. He continues to place emphasis on academics with his team as six of his athletes were named to the AAC All-Academic team and three were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes for Cross Country in his first season.
Harper is a native of Pikeville, Tenn., and graduate of Sequatchie County High School. As an Indian, he gained five All-State Awards, culminating in a 3rd-place finish in the Cross Country State Championships.
He and his wife, Alyssia, live in Dayton, Tenn.