Gonzaga, Northwest Sports To Honor Coach

Dec. 8, 2003

SEATTLE, Wash. - As part of "The Battle in Seattle" weekend there will be a special ceremony to honor former University of Washington, Washington State University and Pacific Lutheran University head men's basketball coach Marv Harshman.

Harshman, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame since 1985, will receive the inaugural "Battle in Seattle" award presented by Gonzaga University in conjunction with Northwest Sports & Entertainment. The annual award will honor a person who has made a major contribution to basketball in the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Harshman will receive his award Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Seattle's Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue. Fans are encouraged to attend the social that will also preview the Gonzaga-University of Missouri showdown Saturday at 11 a.m. at KeyArena.

Mike "The Gasman" Gastineau from KJR radio is slated to host the evenings festivities, with speakers to include Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth, Bulldog head coach Mark Few and Missouri head coach and former Mercer Island resident Quin Snyder. Harshman will also be recognized at halftime of the Gonzaga-Missouri game. A limited number of tickets for this reception are available for $30 and can be purchased through the Gonzaga athletic department by calling (509) 323-4202. Fans in the Seattle area can obtain tickets by calling (206) 295-6278.

In the history of college basketball there may be no one who knows the terrain of any one state like Harshman. He spent 13 years at a small school, 13 more at a bigger one and his final 14 at its rival. A teacher, competitor and strategist, Harshman was truly among the elite of collegiate coaches. In a distinguished 40-year career all in the state of Washington, Harshman earned the admiration and undivided attention of every team he coached. Harshman's teams always reflected the coach: dignified, honest, full of class. From 1945 to 1985, Harshman won a total of 642 games with three separate Washington colleges. At PLU from 1945-58 he coached four NAIA District I basketball championship teams. His 1957 team finished with a 28-1 record, and his 1958 team finished runner-up for the NAIA national title. He finished with a record of 241-121 at PLU.

The next stop for Harshman was WSU where he posted a 155-181 record. In 13 years at WSU (1958-71) Harshman produced three second-place teams in the conference. Harshman moved across the state to conclude his coaching career at Washington from 1971-85 where he was selected NCAA Division 1 National Coach of the year in 1984 and Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1984. Four of his Washington teams won 20 or more games, with 11 of 14 squads winning at least 16 games. His career record at Washington was (246-146). This record includes a game against UCLA on Feb 22, 1975, that dealt legendary coach John Wooden his final defeat with a 103-81 Husky win. His 1984 team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen and Harshman capped his UW career with back-to-back Pac-10 championships in 1984 and 1985. Marv also served on the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1975 to 1981.

Harshman's PLU playing highlights (1938-1941) include All-Conference team all four seasons as well as the leading scorer and conference MVP (1940-41). He was a Little All-American in 1941 and, after graduating in 1942, went to the military and was Navy Chief Specialist from 1943-45. He played on professional season with the Tacoma Mountaineer of the Pacific Northwest Pro League after his discharge from the Navy.

The 86-year-old Harshman currently lives at his Bothell, Wash., home with his wife of 62 years, Dorothy. He's still dialed into the game that he managed to reduce to bare simplicity during his four-decade tenure as coach.

 

 

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