Sheriff finds success in cheerleading

Chris Miller, Chris Miller, and Chris Miller

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With nearly two decades of tenure tucked beneath his belt and gun holster, it may be hard for some to understand why Boone County Sheriff Daren Harris’ coworkers have little trouble giving him slack.

On the other hand, when considering his hobby, the reason may become a bit clearer.
That hobby ‘-serving as head coach of the Northern Kentucky University cheer squad. Harris isn’t just any regular head coach though, but one with three national championships to his name.

Harris, who has been in law enforcement for nineteen years, decided to begin spending his leisure time in a manner unusual for most police officers, when he assumed the head cheerleading coaches role at NKU four years ago. He then led the Norse squad to win the Universal Cheerleading Association Division II Small Co-ed national championship his first year in the position and two additional times since, claiming the title in 2006, 2007, and 2009.
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Not only did the accomplishment come during Harris’ first year in the position at NKU. The achievement also came in his first year of coaching cheerleading in general, as he had never coached cheerleading before taking over the squad.
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Harris admits he fell into the position by accident. His youngest daughter was cheering for Kentucky Elite when the Norse’s former coach Mark McTague came and asked Harris to be his assistant coach that coming year.’ McTague left the following season and Harris took over.
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However, it wasn’t his first time coaching. He had previously attained four combined years of experience as a wrestling coach at Ryle High School and New Haven Elementary.
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Harris attributes the successful transition from wrestling to cheerleading to the knowledge he had attained while watching his daughters cheer over the years.

‘My daughter’s both cheered when they were younger, and I had to learn from watching them,’ he said. ‘My competitive side always came out to push my girls to do the best they could.’

He added that his coaching philosophy is also responsible.
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‘I think ones philosophy has a lot to do with how successful of a coach they can be,’ he said. ‘We are a family; one team, one goal. This isn’t a dictatorship, we welcome creativity from the cheerleaders.’
‘ ‘ ‘ According to Assistant Coach Shayla Myles-Aaron, it’s such a philosophy that has earned Harris the respect of the team, even if he sometimes comes off strict.
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‘Daren is hard on them, but they listen to each other,’ she said.
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Regardless of the reason, Harris’ coaching expertise has undoubtedly translated well. Well enough to put a couple championship rings on his fingers and quiet his teasing coworkers.
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‘[They] gave me a lot of slack when they found out I was coaching cheerleading, but when they saw the end result they were completely amazed,’ he said.

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