ASU reveals Gragg, Harris as speakers of athletics leadership seminar


MONTGOMERY, Ala ( – University of Tulsa Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Derrick Gragg and former Super Bowl champion Corey Harris will address the male student-athletes at Alabama State University Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Abernathy Auditorium as part of the Alabama State University Athletics Leadership Seminar.

Dr. Gragg, a native of Huntsville, Ala., and Harris, an Indianapolis, Ind. native, were college teammates and roommates at Vanderbilt. Both players were four-year lettermen for the Commodores who went on to outstanding professional careers in administration and athletics.

During his career, Dr. Gragg has published several articles and editorials on intercollegiate athletics as well as a nationwide study on sports-related gambling. He has been a presenter and speaker at numerous events nationally. This past October, Dr. Gragg released his first book titled “40 Days of Direction: Life Lessons from the Talented Ten,” which shares life experiences as a collegiate athlete, including Harris, in hopes to provide a blueprint for today’s college athlete.

“We are honored to have Dr. Derrick Gragg and one of his fellas Corey Harris as he calls them in his book provide an inspirational message to our male student-athletes,” Alabama State Athletic Director Melvin Hines said. “Derrick and Corey have traveled a unique journey in their lives, with the foundation forged as college student-athletes. They know the challenges of balancing academics with athletics while growing into manhood. We’re thankful for Derrick and Corey giving their time, and look forward to hearing their stories.”

Dr. Gragg is in his third year at Tulsa after serving in a similar capacity at Eastern Michigan for seven years (2006-13). Among the highlights of his tenure, Dr. Gragg spearheaded the construction of EMU’s $3.9 million multipurpose indoor athletic practice facility and was nationally recognized for his leadership, earning the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) Administrator of the Year Award in 2008-09.

Among his career highlights, Dr. Gragg spent seven years at Arkansas (2000-06), first as Associate Athletic Director and was later promoted to Senior Associate Athletic Director and then Deputy Athletic Director, actively involved with all aspects of the department.

Before that, Dr. Gragg spent three years as assistant athletic director for compliance at Michigan beginning his tenure in 1997. Previously, he was the director of compliance and operations at Missouri from 1995-97.

Gragg began his career in athletic administration at his alma mater, Vanderbilt, where he served from 1993 to 1995 as an academic counselor before adding the title of director of student life in his final year.

Harris was a consensus all-SEC pick in 1991 after setting a school record for rushing yards in a season with 1,103. He led the Commodores in multiple categories including receiving and kickoff returns in addition to rushing.

Harris played 12 seasons and more than 180 games in the National Football League for six different teams, including the Super Bowl 35 Champion Baltimore Ravens. He played in all 16 games in nine consecutive seasons, and among his career statistics he made 11 interceptions, had six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and scored three touchdowns.