Patrick Nee has finalized his staff for the 2019-2020 season.
On Thursday, the school announced the hiring of Mike Harding as the new men’s assistant basketball coach.
“I’d like to thank Coach Patrick Nee and Athletic Director Greg McVey for giving me my first opportunity to coach at the college level,” Harding said. “Once I stepped on campus and was introduced to staff members, it just felt right.”
Harding is very familiar with the Jayhawk Conference having played two years at Butler. In fact, each member of the coaching staff has competed in the league. Nee played at Johnson County, Matt Miller at Barton County and Silas Mills at Garden City.
“I’m excited to have Coach Harding join our staff,” Nee said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.”
Harding comes to Garden City from Lawrence, where he spent the past five years as an assistant coach at Lawrence High School. There, he was part of a team that played in five straight 6A state tournaments. In 2015, the Lions finished as the runner-up to Wichita East. The following year, they went 24-2 and took third.
“He (Harding) understands how tough and competitive this conference is,” Nee said. “With strong ties in Lawrence and the Kansas City area, he will be a major asset with in-state recruiting.”
Before Lawrence, Harding spent two years as the junior varsity coach at Raytown High School in Raytown, MO. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Bishop-Seabury Academy in Lawrence, where he won 22 games in two seasons. He did all of that while working the last 10 years in the registrar’s office at the University of Kansas.
In high school, Harding was teammates with former No. 1 overall pick, Danny Manning at Lawrence High. After graduation, he played two years at Butler before moving onto Georgia Southern, where he played with another first-round draft pick, Jeff Sanders (Chicago Bulls) and former Detroit Pistons Head Coach Michael Curry.
While Harding is new to the college coaching scene, he has plenty of experience on the big stage. In 2000, he guided a team consisting of former KU standouts Wayne Simien and Jeff Hawkins, to an AAU National Championship.
Harding has two kids, Brittany (29) and Michael Harding III (9).