Michael Harris, who worked as counselor and assistant basketball coach at Menlo School, was killed early Sunday morning, Sept. 6, in a boating collision off Catalina Island in Southern California. He was the son of Peter Harris, former president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers.
Michael Harris graduated from Menlo School in 2008 and returned to his alma mater to work as a counselor and assistant coach for the boys basketball team. He played on the boys basketball team when he was a senior at Menlo. The team won the CCS Division IV title under then-coach Kris Weems, who is the current athletic director at Menlo.
A statement released by the school said:
"Menlo School offers heartfelt condolences to the Harris family on the tragic loss of their son Michael. A graduate of the class of 2008, we were honored to have Michael recently return as a new member of our Upper School counseling team. We knew Michael as a kind-hearted, caring, joyful young man. His enthusiasm for his work was infectious. In his short time in Menlo's counseling department, he already earned great respect from colleagues and students alike.
"The Harris family has longstanding ties to Menlo School. All three of their children (Michael '08, David '10, Richard '12) attended both the Middle and Upper Schools. Jan and Peter were deeply involved in the School community, dedicating their energy and enthusiasm to many School projects and developing strong relationships throughout the campus. A caring community that comes together during trying times, Menlo extends our fullest support and thoughts to the Harris family."
Peter Harris and his wife, Jan, confirmed their son's death in a statement posted Sunday on Peter's Facebook page.
Peter Harris said Michael "died this morning while living his life as he did everyday, with kindness, friendship, love of family, caring for others, having fun, being a friend, and as one of the really good guys."
A good Samaritan reported the collision between a dinghy and another boat about a quarter mile east of Casino Point at about 1:20 a.m., U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Sondra-Kay Kneen said. Three people were injured in the crash and one is still missing, she said. Two of the injured suffered minor injuries and the third suffered a head injury, Kneen said.
Los Angeles County firefighters took the three to the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center for treatment, she said.
Rescuers searched for the missing boater until 7:19 p.m. when they suspended the search pending additional information, Kneen said.
Peter Harris served as president and CEO of the 49ers between 2000 and 2004, according to his LinkedIn profile.