Cliff Harris is regarded as one of football’s all-time greats, having established himself among the National Football League’s elite performers following a stellar collegiate career. A native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Cliff attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he earned degrees in math and physics. As a free safety, he quickly became known and feared for his reckless pursuit of ball carriers. When he was overlooked in the 1970 NFL draft, Cliff signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys who were convinced of his abilities after viewing his collegiate exploits. After winning a starting position for the Cowboys, Cliff’s rookie season was interrupted by a tour of duty in the United States Army in 1970. He wasted no time in regaining his starting position following his military commitment and emerged as the NFL’s finest free safety. While starting at free safety, Cliff essentially never left the field. He consistently lead the team in interceptions, punt returns and kickoff returns.
Today, he is second only to Mel Renfro in kickoff return average. During his 10-year career with the Cowboys, Cliff played in a record five Super Bowls, was named to six Pro Bowl squads and was named First Team All-NFL for four successive seasons by the Associated Press and the Pro Football Writers Association. Cliff was also named to the All-Pro Team of the 1970’s by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. More recently, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in Kansas City and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Following his retirement from football in 1980, Cliff was voted to the Dallas Cowboys All-Decade Team in 1984 and to its Silver Season All-Time Team. When given the assignment to choose an “All-Time Dream Team” from all the football players in history, the experts at Sports Illustrated named Cliff as their Dream Team Free Safety (Sports Illustrated Classic Special Issue). After the Cowboys victory in Super Bowl XXX, Sports Illustrated named Cliff to their all time Cowboy Super Bowl team Today, Cliff Harris resides in Dallas with his wife Karen and their five children. He is President of Energy Transfer Group, a company which specializes in the marketing of energy.
Cliff is active in civic affairs, serving as an Honorary Board Member of the Kent Waldrep National Paralysis Foundation and is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Rehabilitation Institute. For five years the Cliff Harris Celebrity Golf Tournament has been held benefiting CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, another foundation of which he is a Board Member. He has also served as spokesman for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Texas Special Olympics and is a past President of the Ouachita Baptist Former Students Association. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of the NFL Alumni Association.
Cliff speaks on the topics of teamwork, leadership, perseverance and commitment.