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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Out of the ordinary

Fred Harvey

Growing up, many kids dream of becoming professional athletes, firefighters or racecar drivers. Not Fred Harvey. Harvey wanted to be a coach.

“”I’ve always wanted to coach, ever since I was a little kid in the fifth grade,”” said Harvey, Arizona’s track and field head coach.

He even looked up to coaches.

“”I grew up in Northern California and there was (a) time when we had great coaches, especially in the NFL,”” he said. “”Vince Lombardi was a real special person to me, and I’ve always felt that being able to help realize their (athletic) worth, if you will, for lack of a better term, was something I felt very comfortable with. I felt that I had an insight in helping people with that.””

Harvey’s intuition was right. He became a coach, and a successful one at that. Harvey was honored with both Pacific 10 Conference women’s and men’s Coach of the Year awards, his first Pac-10 award for either team.

A few weeks prior, the Arizona head coach of eight years also won the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award.

Despite his growing collection of accolades, Harvey attributed his success to the passion he has for his job.

“”Honestly, I don’t know if at this level there is anything that sets any coach apart in terms of success,”” Harvey said. “”It’s kind of quantifying who’s the best coach, and honestly I don’t know what that means. It means different coaches have different ways of getting the best out of their athletes.””

But Harvey takes a different approach to the time he spends with his athletes off of the field.

“”I think the number one difference between me and a lot of coaches is that me working with my student athletes at the UA is completely 100 percent about them and giving them the opportunity to realize success.””

The term “”success”” isn’t limited to athletics for Harvey.

“”I like to think that I’m just a person that’s out helping young, student athletes to have an opportunity to not only realize success athletically, but also in experiencing success socially and academically,”” Harvey said.

It’s common for student athletes to forget the “”student”” part when they’re training countless hours and missing a number of classes for their sport. But Harvey stressed the importance of academics for his athletes.

“”To see the joy on someone’s face, who just graduated from school, who might not have had the confidence or opportunity, that’s as exciting as someone winning the national championship in high jump or the hundred meters,”” Harvey said.

A big reason for the success of Harvey’s athletes is his coaching style.

“”My personal philosophy, in a nutshell, is about opportunity,”” Harvey said. “”You, as a human being, have an infinite amount of talent. I cannot give you talent, the only thing I can do is open up the avenues to allow your talent to shine.””

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