Former NCAA Scholar-Athlete Turns Professor and Researcher

By: Graduate Studies on

Keith Harrison, PhDC. Keith Harrison, PhD, is Associate Professor and Associate Director of the DeVos Graduate and Undergraduate Sport Business Management Programs.

Dr. Harrison was a former NCAA scholar-athlete, which he believes led him to where he is today. “As a center on the West Texas A&M University football team, I became interested in the identity and career patterns of student-athletes and professional athletes as well as the business of sport in terms of demographics, innovation and entrepreneurship in sport and entertainment,” he says. 

Dr. Harrison has over two decades of university research, teaching, and service experience at both the community college level and university level. He received his BS from West Texas A&M, his MA from California State University Dominguez Hills, and his EdD from University of Southern California. His career focus is in a few areas: the student-athlete and professional athlete experience; diversity and inclusion issues related to gender and race relations in education, business, sport and entertainment; and the marketing of emerging multicultural demographics in the global environment in education, sport and entertainment. Dr. Harrison’s list of clients and partnerships include the NFL, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, University of Oregon, Jordan Brand, Qore 24, NASCAR, Boise State University, UCLA’s School of Education and Athletic Department, Wharton Sports Business Academy, and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Regarding the best aspect of working at UCF, Dr. Harrison could not decide between being the second largest school in the country, having a diverse student body, great weather, and great academics and athletics.

What Dr. Harrison finds most rewarding about teaching are the students and “seeing my students do well after I have prepared them for the real world… I am a student’s professor much like a player’s coach,” he shares.

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