Andrew Harris takes part in first event as Vancouver Island Raiders boss

Photo: Matthew Johnson/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

While Andrew Harris still has his eyes on a fourth consecutive Grey Cup title, he has already started gearing up for the next phase of his life.

Harris signed a five-year deal in February to become the head of football operations for his former Canadian Junior Football League team, the Vancouver Island Raiders. He will also take over as the team’s head coach starting with the 2024 season.

Over the weekend, the future Canadian Football Hall of Famer took part in his first official event as the team’s head honcho, attending the team’s high school evaluation camp this past Saturday.

“The biggest thing is to get them out there and test where they’re at and have a benchmark they can grow from. We’re doing a spider chart as well so they can see where they stack up with their position and their age group,” Harris told Nanaimo News Now.

Harris attended the event in the hopes of familiarizing himself with the talent that will be available after he retires from the CFL following the 2023 season.

“I’ve talked to some kids for recruiting but the big thing for me is to get in front of them and get to know them as young men,” Harris said.

“My goal is to have success on the field but junior football was so instrumental in my life and helping me grow as a person. I want to help them get to the next stage in their life.”

Before embarking on a stellar CFL career that began with the B.C. Lions in 2010, Harris spent five years as a member of the Raiders, winning three CJFL national championships and setting numerous British Columbia Football Conference rushing records.

“My five years in Nanaimo as a young player were pivotal for my training and football career, I want to take this passion that I have for the sport and build something great for these young up-and-coming players and of course, win some championships,” Harris said in a statement following the announcement.

The 35-year-old plans to attend the team’s spring camp later this year before playing his final CFL season with the Toronto Argonauts.