Harshbarger to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Vanderhoof is bursting with pride with the news that on May 6, 2017, Doug Harshbarger,

Slam dunk for Coach Doug Harshbarger - recognised for his incredible contribution to basketball over 30 years.

Slam dunk for Coach Doug Harshbarger - recognised for his incredible contribution to basketball over 30 years.

Vanderhoof is bursting with pride with the news that on May 6, 2017, Doug Harshbarger, NVSS girls basketball coach, will be inducted into the B.C Basketball Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place at 6:30 pm at the River Rock Hotel, Richmond. And looking through the numerous newspaper clippings and dedications to his achievements for the sport, coach Harshbarger deserves this incredible honour without a shadow of a doubt. The Viqueens won over 800 games during Doug’s 30 years as coach. His teams were always competitive at the zone and provincial level, qualifying for provincial level play 19 years with eight zone titles and five provincial victories. They won Provincials in 1974, 1982, 1984, 1997 and 1998. Doug as a coach is in a league entrely of his own. Doug is being recognised as a builder for creating and producing a girl’s basketball newsletter, the Roundball Roundup from 1991 to 1998. He is a former Commissioner and Zone Rep for the North Central Region. He is the first male coach of a girl’s team to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Few coaches, if any, can match his dedication to B.C. Basketball. Doug has always had a special relationship with each of his teams and countless number of players have had a positive experience with incredibly fond memories of the various games, trips, birthday parties, banquets and just plain comaraderie. To Doug basketball had to be a total life experience for his girls. Doug inspired his teams to not only play like champions but also live every day the “T.E.A.M.” acronym: Together Everyone Achieves More. Deni Moore Jacobsen has fond recollections from her days playing on Doug’s team in the North Central Zones. “”Harshy” impacted so many people. He wanted his girls to be better people,” she said “He encouraged us to be well rounded, to be passionate about more than just the sport.” “We put on our blue, gold and white colour team jerseys and volunteered in the community. Being part of the team was an esteemed privilege. We had to earn it. A certain number of service hours were required before we could play. Players worked hard to serve the community and do the fundraising required to pay for the team trips and accommodation. In those days none of us had to personally pay a penny because the team raised all the funds we needed ourselves. And we travelled a lot. We played 40 games a year at that time and we lost very few of those games.” “Doug was firm with the players, sometimes quite stern, mabe even denying the call for a sub. He believed in us, pushed us to achieve what we did. But we had a lot of fun. “Harshy” always made sure everyone was having fun” Doug came to teach at Nechako Valley Secondary in the 1968 – 1969 school year from Southern Oregon where he was active coaching football, basketball and baseball. “In the far north, there are not too many opportunities to coach football and baseball at the interschol level, so that left him with coaching basketball and he has been hard at it for the past 29 years at NVSS,” said a page one dedication in the B.C, Girls “AA” Program for Basketball Championships in Vernon, March 5 – 8, 1997. He went on another decade making it 39 years at NVSS. Ken Young, Principal, Nechako Valley Secondary School had his to say: “I was very happy and proud to hear that Coach Doug Harshbarger will be recognized for his 30 plus years of contributions to High School Basketball in BC at the BC Sports Hall of Fame Gala on May 6. “Here at Nechako Valley Secondary School we still remember Mr. Harshbarger as many of the staff are graduates of NVSS and we remember his time here not only as the legendary Viqueen coach, but also as a PE teacher and long time librarian. His portrait now looks down on the gym that he presided over along with fellow basketball legend, Ron Van Dolah. “Coach Harshbarger and his teams won an incredible 800 plus games over those 30 years. Winning many Zone championships along the way as well as an amazing 5 Provincial titles as BC Champs! He definitely put NVSS on the map as a high school girls basketball powerhouse. As I travel to other schools and conferences in the province and people find out what school I am from, inevitably the veteran administrators will ask if I knew Doug Harshbarger – and they will share some stories if they had coached against him. What I will remember most about Doug Harshbarger will be the legacy he left in terms of creating the idea that members of the Vanderhoof Viqueens would be representing the school at all times and they needed to conduct themselves as such. He taught them that volunteering in the community to raise funds to travel was important. He wanted them to earn their way through hard work and commitment. These were lessons that I am sure that many of his players would put to use throughout their lives. Just ask some of “his” Viqueens who are still around, they hold him in high regard and know that he helped to shape their work ethic in their lives beyond high school. As an educator and coach, having an effect beyond the games and the school is such an accomplishment. Doug Harshbarger was such a person who made a difference in his student-athlete lives. I know that Vike Nation and the rest of the community would join me in congratulating Coach Harshbarger as he is recognized in his induction to the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Congratulations Coach!” Gene Mitran offered his congratulations as well: “I know Doug ever since I arrived in Vanderhoof in 1974. I was impressed with his ability to muster support especially when a tournament was being hosted by the Viqueens at NVSS. It wasn’t long before he was able to get virtually all members of a staff of 40+ members to take on a task in order to make the tournament a success. Tasks such as making posters, or scorekeeping or refereeing, or crowd control, or just a meriad of small tasks that had to be done to lead to a successful tournament. He was always jovial and supportive of those of us who may have had difficulty doing what needed to be done. Even though he was the girls basketball coach, he worked just as hard to ensure that other tournaments were successful.” Gary Moore: firends of Doug’s for the past 40 years. Gary was a basketball referee and Doug asked him to help coach the Viqueens. Gary was the only assistant Doug ever had “I knew the game. We couldn’t stand how the others were coaching without baskeball knowledge. When Doug retired Gary continued coaching for another four to five years. “I felt quite honoured that Doug called me up and invited me to attend the Gala in Richmond on May 6.” He’s coming up from Oregon where he spends winters to attend the event.” Gary drove the bus to Victoria and Edmonton and all over to get the girls team to their games. When he retired we held a banquet which was so well attended that people came from all over Canada and the States. Doug was actually the one to start the Zones Banquet tradition. It was his idea.” Today, Doug has difficulty getting around but he is still an active member of the volunteer group at the Menshed. “He will do anything that needs to be done as long as he could sit down to do it. He is our phoner and he calls any of the menshed members who don’t have an email address, ” says Gene Mitran. Lawrie Johns, Basketball BC Executive Director added “May 6, 2017 at the River Rock will be a tremendous day as we recognize this outstanding group of nominees, welcome previous inductees and celebrate the many, many fantastic developments in our sport’s past… we look forward to again welcoming the basketball community to a wonderful evening!” For tickets or more info contact ljohns@ basketball.bc.ca 0r 778 621-2002

 

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