For almost seven years, if one walked into the coach’s offices and looked to their left, they would see the office of the Marketing and Ticker Director for Washburn Athletics: Summer Harris.
When a student sees this title, they may not realize just how much she does at different athletic events. Harris is responsible for: overseeing all ticket sales, including season tickets and single game tickets, hiring ticket takers for events, getting sponsors and advertisements; designing banners and schedules that have the Washburn logo on them, making t-shirts, and creating all promotions to speak and participate in.
However, Washburn will unfortunately be losing Harris to Fort Hays State University after this school year.
After her husband, defensive cordinator for the Ichabod’s football team Cooper Harris, received a job offer from a long time friend at FHSU, the couple decided that it was time to move on, for several different reasons.
“He was offered the job last year to go to Fort Hays and the timing was just terrible,” said Harris. “This year we got the same offer and it just seemed like it was our time to make the move.”
One of the reasons that last year did not work out for the Harris couple is that she was pregnant with their first born, a girl. It was near impossible for them to move at the moment with everything settled for them to bring a child into the world.
However, the reason they stayed is also one of the reasons they will be leaving. Harris realized she was not getting to spend the amount of time with her daughter that she really wanted to. After working 60-70 hour weeks for months at a time, and having her husband experiencing the same, their daughter was not getting to see much of her parents.
“I had this dream job at Washburn that I always loved,” said Harris. “But being a mom was a dream job I’ve wanted, too.”
This is where Hays was able to help make the offer the Harris’ would end up taking. Realizing Summer liked her current job and her daughter, they offered her a part time job so she would be able work and see her daughter more.
Not only was this an advantage, but most of Summer’s family lives near the Hays area. With the intention to keep expanding their immediate family, it was very important to be able to see extended family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins all lived within a day’s traveling distance and added to the excited that Hays was offering.
“Between seeing my daughter and my family more often, it was an extremely appealing offer for us,” said Harris. “It’s an exciting adventure that we’re ready to take where I can focus on being an employee, mother, and even a coach’s wife.”
However, the Harris couple admits this move being extremely bittersweet. After working at WU for a combined 18 years, the couple has met and worked with so many amazing people that they have grown close to and keep in contact with.
“The people in the department and even the fans and boosters have all made impacts on our lives,” said Summer Harris. “It will be so difficult letting them all go.”
She keeps a positive outlook on the situation though. Since both schools are a part of the MIAA conference, she is looking forward to the many times that they will meet up with all of their “Washburn family” and catch up.