PITTSBURG — Former Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director B.J. Harris has taken the helm at a familiar organization.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl announced last month that Harris has taken a position as its executive director. While working with the CVB in Pittsburg, Harris submitted two successful bids to host the Kansas Shrine Bowl, and has been a part of several of the games.
“It’s awesome to have the opportunity to be a part of the Kansas Shrine Bowl,” Harris said. “I’ve interacted with them for a long time, but never could get my hands in the dough, so to speak.”
Along with submitting two successful bids — one which will bring the Kansas Shrine Bowl to Pittsburg in 2018 — Harris played in the Kansas Shrine Bowl in 2000. He was inducted into the Kansas Shrine Bowl Hall of Fame in 2016.
Kansas Shrine Bowl Board of Directors President Jack Call said the organization is excited to bring Harris on board.
“We are so pleased to bring B.J. onto our team,” Call said in a release. “He has a broad knowledge base in marketing, sales, organizational management and, of course, football.”
Harris accepted the job with Kansas Shrine Bowl after a brief tenure as Sports Sales Manager with eXplore Lawrence. He had planned to move to Lawrence, but said that plan has changed.
“The main office is in Lenexa, Kansas, but I’ve spoken with my board of directors, and they feel I can work from wherever I need to be,” Harris said. “I’ve talked extensively with my wife, and we plan to stay here and stay involved with other tasks we’ve taken on in the Pittsburg community.”
The Kansas Shrine Bowl serves as an all-star football game for high school athletes in the state, but also raises funds for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. All proceeds from the game benefit the Shriners’ network of 22 hospitals statewide.
“Being able to have an impact on the lives of children is really important to both me and my wife, who is going to be a teacher,” Harris said. “It’s great for us to have this opportunity.”
The 2018 Kansas Shrine Bowl will take place on July 28 at 7 p.m. at Carnie Smith Stadium on the Pittsburg State University Kansas. The 2018 Kansas Shrine Bowl participants and coaches will be announced on December 27.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.