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    Jenerrie Harris to lead Lowell women’s basketball

    Newly hired UMass Lowell women’s basketball coach Jenerrie Harris arrives after a coaching stint at the US Naval Academy.
    US Navy Photo
    Newly hired UMass Lowell women’s basketball coach Jenerrie Harris arrives after a coaching stint at the US Naval Academy.

    Harris to lead Lowell women’s basketball

    Her previous five seasons were at the US Naval Academy. And at Annapolis, the athletics sphere is bound to expand beyond playbooks, practice times, and game plans.

    For Jenerrie Harris , the new women’s basketball coach at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, that meant concepts such as discipline, order, and strict academics came into play.

    “Those things are just ingrained in me now,” said Harris, who was the associate head coach last season at Navy under Stefanie Pemper after four years as an assistant. “I’m used to being in a program that just works hard. More often than not, we weren’t the most talented team, or skilled. But we worked hard. I’m hoping to bring that hard work and dedication to Lowell.”


    Sounds like an individual who, as a player at the University of Kentucky (class of 2004), was the first walk-on to earn a scholarship in the coaching tenure of Bernadette Mattox.

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    Harris steps in for Sarah Behn , who departed after three seasons, including last year’s inaugural run at the Division 1 level, for Brown University.

    This is her first head coaching position, after assistant posts at Longwood University (2005-06), Wright State (2006-09) — where she was in on the recruitment of former Melrose High stalwart Shea Peddy — and Navy.

    The 2013-14 season was a trying one for the River Hawks in their first season in Division 1 and the America East Conference. Lowell finished 5-23 overall, and 4-12 in conference play.

    At Longwood, Harris assisted in the program’s move up to Division 1.


    “I think Lowell is steps ahead of where we were at Longwood,” Harris said. “We’re further along in the transition process. At Longwood, we didn’t have a conference.”

    Harris will dive into New England recruiting, but she has the benefit of working at a national scope at Navy.

    “One of the benefits of the academy is that we didn’t have to recruit regionally, we had to recruit everywhere,” Harris said. “And obviously with Stefanie Pemper coming from the New England area [formerly at Bowdoin], we had some nice ties coming in.”

    Dana Skinner , UMass Lowell director of athletics, said the school is excited about Harris’s “capacity to build a successful Division 1 legacy.”

    Coaching changes

    Scott Young , a former math teacher and interim assistant principal at North Andover High, has been named assistant principal for athletics and activities at the school. He replaces Jon Longley, now the AD at Norwood High. . . . Austin Prep announced that alum Jonathan Pollard (class of 1997) is the school’s new director of athletics. He is a former AD for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell. . . . Swampscott native Stephanie Lannon is the new women’s lacrosse coach at Salem State. A 2012 graduate of Bridgewater State, she was an assistant at Gordon College the past two seasons. A field hockey assistant at Gordon last fall, she will also work as an assistant in field hockey at Salem State this fall. . . . Stan McKeen , who has guided the freshman girls’ basketball team at Peabody to four straight unbeaten seasons, is the new varsity coach there.

    NHL draft picks


    Incoming Boston University defenseman Johnathan MacLeod , a Dracut native, was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round (57th overall) of this past weekend’s NHL Draft in Philadelphia. As a member of the US U18 Team in 2013-14, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound MacLeod registered 11 points in 51 games. . . . West Newbury’s Shane Eiserman , a center/left winger, went to the Ottawa Senators in the fourth round (100th overall). As a high school freshman in 2010-11, Eiserman suited up for St. John’s Prep during a Super 8 runner-up run. Eiserman’s hockey road then took him to Cushing Academy, the US U18 squad, and most recently the USHL’s Dubuque (Iowa) Fighting Saints, while also representing the United States in the 2013 U19 World Junior A Challenge. . . . Right winger Tyler Bird of Andover and Kimball Union (as well as St. John’s Prep in 2011-12 and 2012-13), headed for Brown University in 2015-16, was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 5 (137th overall). . . . North Reading’s Nolan Vesey was taken by Toronto in the sixth round (158th overall). The former Austin Prep standout most recently played for the South Shore Kings during the 2013-14 season. The left winger will play for the University of Maine this season.

    Jeff Powalisz can be reached at