Charlie Harbison, who has been a part of two of the last three Southeastern Conference Championship teams, enters his second season as LSU’s defensive backs coach.
In his first year with the Tigers, LSU’s defensive backs combined to intercept 18 passes, including an SEC-leading five by Damien James.
Harbison also held together an LSU defensive backfield that was devastated by injuries last year. Returning starter at left cornerback Robert Davis was lost for the year with a knee injury during the second week of the season, while strong safeties Norman LeJeune and Lionel Thomas combined to miss five games with injuries.
LSU was so depleted at the cornerback season late in the year that true freshman cornerback Travis Daniels, who hadn’t played a down all season, had to be inserted into the game during the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ 31-20 victory over Tennessee in the SEC Championship game. Daniels responded by breaking up a pair of passes, including one in the endzone that prevented a Vol touchdown.
Harbison joined the Tigers for the 2001 season after spending the 1998-2000 seasons as the defensive backs coach at Alabama. Harbison helped the Crimson Tide to the 1999 Southeastern Conference title and a berth in the Orange Bowl.
Prior to his stint with the Crimson Tide, Harbison spent three years coaching defensive backs at Clemson, where he helped guide the Tigers to a pair of bowl appearances. Under Harbison’s watch, Clemson led the ACC in pass defense in 1995. Harbison served as defensive backs coach at Texas-El Paso in 1994. Harbison has also coached at the collegiate level at his alma mater, Gardner-Webb.
In addition to his collegiate experience, Harbison has also coached in the Arena Football League as well as the World League of American Football.
A native of Shelby, N.C., Harbison is a business administration graduate from Gardner- Webb College, where he was a two-sport star in football and track. He was a free agent pick by the Buffalo Bills in 1982 and he also played with the Boston Breakers and the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL.
Harbison is married to the former Gloria Allen and the couple has four children, Charlie, Stedman, Masai, and Msiba.
The Harbison File
Year at LSU: Second (appointed on Feb. 16, 2001)
Birthdate: Oct. 27, 1959
Children: Charlie, Stedman, Masai, and Msiba
High School: Crest Senior High
Alma Mater: Gardner Webb
1982-83 East Lincoln (N.C.) High School (Linebackers)
1984-85 Gardner Webb (Defensive Backs)
1990 Charlotte Barons (Defensive Backs)
1991 Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks (Defensive Backs)
1992-93 Gardner Webb (Wide Receivers)
1993-94 Charlotte Rage (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs)
1994 Texas-El Paso (Defensive Backs)
1995-97 Clemson (Defensive Backs)
1998-2000 Alabama (Defensive Backs)
2001 LSU (Defensive Backs)