Hall of Fame Spotlight - Richard Harrison
UMKC Athletics 1-23-2013
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By David Boyce

Richard Harrison won plenty of tennis matches and dominated the Summit League in his four years at UMKC.

He graduated in 2007 with a degree in Business Administration and left UMKC ranked in the top 15 in career singles wins and doubles victories.

Harrison was selected first team all-conference his last three seasons and was a second team selection his freshman year.

He accomplished so much that it makes sense he made the UMKC 2013 Athletics Hall of Fame, a mere six years after graduating.

Despite all of his accolades, the little things are what stand out for Harrison when he reflects on his career at UMKC.

"Every time my teammates shouted "Go Roos!" and supported me for my match always gave me a buzz," Harrison said.

To win as much as Harrison won meant he needed to be in great shape. Some of those workouts were grueling even to the point of feeling nauseous.

"Although at the time, I had no fond feelings whatsoever," Harrison said.

More than 5 years later, those feelings have changed. It happens to a lot of student-athletes once they leave college.

"I relished the fitness drills at the end of practice so I would say a good memory was the nausea that told me I had given it 100 percent," Harrison said.

The fitness helped Harrison in three set matches and so did his teammates.

"My matches that went to a third set and everyone gathered to watch and the support was really loud are some of my best memories," Harrison said.

Today, Harrison lives in New York City and works in sales for an IT software company.

Harrison is finding the same kind of success in the business world as he did on the tennis court at UMKC.

"I finished 2012 as the top sales person globally and my company was acknowledged as one of the fastest growing companies in North America." Harrison said.

His time at UMKC played a role in Harrison's success in the Big Apple.

"UMKC helped me come out of my shell, experience a totally different culture (being British), and fostered a strong interest in business," Harrison said.

"Hands down, the best classes I took were public-speaking related. Although initially terrifying, I have found the experience to have been extremely helpful in my career in sales."

While UMKC is endorsing Harrison's athletic achievements by placing him in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame, the success Harrison is now having in the business world is an endorsement of UMKC that it is sending student-athletes prepared to win in life.

Harrison still plays tennis, but no longer to win trophies or medals.

"I miss the competition but finally learned to enjoy playing simply for the love of the sport like I did as a kid," Harrison said.

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