Roast, golf tournament honor Dan Harris

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Roast, golf tournament honor Dan Harris

Story by Kyle Davis

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As athletic director Dan Harris nears retirement after 26 years of service at Baker University, he was celebrated with a night full of stories and jokes from a large group of family and friends.

Digs and Divots, an event honoring Harris’ time at Baker, included a dinner and roast Sunday evening at the Holiday Inn in Olathe and a golf tournament Monday at Prairie Highlands Golf Course.

“No matter what, he stays positive and true to himself, and that’s why everybody loves him,” Lori Thomas, vice president for championships and human resources with the NAIA national office and one of the roasters, said.

Assistant athletic director Theresa Yetmar and Doug Barth, director of alumni and corporate relations, spent  about five months planning the events for Harris.

“It’s the cumulative Baker spirit, pride that he’s always had,” Barth said. “It’s funny because he’s a (William) Jewell (College) grad, but he actually bleeds Baker orange. He really is very passionate about the university.”

More than 200 people attended the roast, including eight roasters, which Harris hand-picked.

“It was a fun event, a lot of laughter in the room, a lot of good, positive energy, and a few tears just because the sentiment of losing someone who’s meant so much to Baker for 26 years,” Yetmar said.

In Harris' speech, he mentioned some memorable moments at Baker, including playing for a football national championship in 1986 and going 35-10 in baseball and being one run away from qualifying for the College World Series in 1992.<br/>"I would have to say when you can bring all those experiences together in one evening, which is what happened Sunday night, that has to be the highlight," Harris said."I would have to say when you can bring all those experiences together in one evening, which is what happened Sunday night, that has to be the highlight," Harris said.
“I would have to say when you can bring all those experiences together in one evening, which is what happened Sunday night, that has to be the highlight,” Harris said.

All of the money earned from the roast and the golf tournament will go to the Baker athletic department.

On a night made for reliving stories from the past, Harris also received some dream news for the future. University President Pat Long announced that Harris will be inducted into the Baker Hall of Fame.

“I’ve really been involved in the hall of fame. I respect the members of the hall of fame so much, because I’ve been involved in that process and I thought ‘oh gosh, I want to be right along with all those people’ and for them to make that announcement, that really got me, that was huge,” he said.

Harris said he is offering any help he can as his final days at BU wind down.

“I want to go out at Baker by making the days count, not counting the days,” he said.