Harkness joined the program in 2005 as an assistant coach with the Cougar men's soccer team. Prior to working at SXU, he served as head coach for Southwest United, an 18-and-under club soccer team in Oak Forest, Ill., from 1998-2005. Harkness also was the head women's soccer coach at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill., from 2000-2004. From 1996-2000, he served as assistant boy's soccer coach at Brother Rice High School in Chicago, where he played from 1986-90.
Harkness was a standout player at Eastern Illinois University from 1990-94. Following his collegiate career, he played professionally for the Chicago Power and Detroit Rockers of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) as well as the Chicago Stingers of the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues (USISL).
Harkness lives with his wife, Pamela, in Downer's Grove. The couple had twins, Jimmy and Karly, in the fall of 2005. In addition to coaching at SXU, Harkness also trades commodities at the Chicago Board of Trade.