Ray Harper

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For the Australian rules footballer, see Ray Harper (footballer).
Ray Harper
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Western Kentucky
Biographical details
Born (1961-10-11) October 11, 1961 (age 53)
Greenville, Kentucky
Playing career
Kentucky Wesleyan
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Kentucky Wesleyan (asst.)[1]
Kentucky Wesleyan (assoc. HC)[1]
Kentucky Wesleyan
Oklahoma City
Western Kentucky (asst.)
Western Kentucky
Accomplishments and honors

NCAA Men's Division II Tournament (1999, 2001)

NAIA Men's Division I Tournament (2007, 2008)
Sun Belt Tournament Championship (2012, 2013)
Division II National Coach of the Year (7 times)

Ray Harper (born (1961-10-11)October 11, 1961[1]) is an American college basketball coach. Currently, he is the head coach for the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers basketball team. Previously, he was head coach at Oklahoma City University and Kentucky Wesleyan College. At Kentucky Wesleyan, Harper compiled a 242–45 win-loss record.

He has been named the Division II National Coach of the Year seven times and won two national titles at Kentucky Wesleyan in 1999 and 2001.[2]

Harper was named interim head coach at Western Kentucky on January 6, 2012 after Ken McDonald was fired.[3] He was named permanent head coach on February 19, 2012 by then-athletic director Ross Bjork.[4]

Born in Greenville, Kentucky and a native of Bremen, Kentucky, Harper played collegiately at the University of Texas[2] as a freshman and at Kentucky Wesleyan, during his sophomore-senior seasons, where he was named third team NABC All-American as a senior in 1985.

He is married to Shannon Harper,[5] a WKU alumna.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers (Great Lakes Valley Conference) (1996–2005)
1996–97 Kentucky Wesleyan 21–8 14–6 5th
1997–98 Kentucky Wesleyan 30–3 17–2 1st NCAA Division II runner-up
1998–99 Kentucky Wesleyan 35–2 20–2 1st NCAA Division II Champion
1999–00 Kentucky Wesleyan 31–3 18–2 1st NCAA Division II runner-up
2000–01 Kentucky Wesleyan 30–3 17–3 2nd NCAA Division II Champion
2001–02 Kentucky Wesleyan 31–3 19–1 1st NCAA Division II runner-up
2002–03 Kentucky Wesleyan 26–3* 18–2* 1st* NCAA Division II runner-up*
2003–04 Kentucky Wesleyan 22–8* 14–6* 3rd* NCAA Division II First Round*
2004–05 Kentucky Wesleyan 15–12 9–11 6th
Kentucky Wesleyan: 242–45* (.840) 146–35* (.807)
Oklahoma City Stars (Sooner Athletic Conference) (2005–2008)
2005–06 Oklahoma City 29–8 16–2 1st NAIA runner-up
2006–07 Oklahoma City 35–2 17–1 1st NAIA Champions
2007–08 Oklahoma City 31–7 18–4 1st NAIA Champions
Oklahoma City: 95–17 (.848) 51–7 (.879)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Sun Belt Conference) (2012–2014)
2011–12 Western Kentucky 11–8[6] 6–7[6] 3rd (East)[7] NCAA 2nd Round[8]
2012–13 Western Kentucky 20–15 10–10 4th (East)[9] NCAA 2nd Round[10]
2013–14 Western Kentucky 21–11 12–6
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Conference USA) (2014–present)
2014–15 Western Kentucky 20-12 12-6 T-4th
Western Kentucky: 72–45 (.609) 40–29 (.580)
Total: 409–107 (.803)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

* 20 wins and 5 losses were vacated from the 2003–04 season and for the 2002–03 season; the school had to vacate the NCAA Division II runner-up and conference regular season championship.[11]