One of our state’s treasures, Marv Harshman, died today at age 95.
He was one of the classiest gentlemen I ever interviewed, and one of the greatest athletes and coaches in state history. He played and coached at Pacific Lutheran, before becoming the head basketball coach at Washington State and Washington. He twice turned down offers to coach the Seattle SuperSonics. He was considered a master when it came to teaching basketball. He was known for his ability to work with big men, and for coaching a matchup zone defense that gave opponents fits.
Former Sun colleague Terry Mosher wrote “Harsh” — a book about the Lake Stevens legend. It published in 1994 and offers a lot of insight into the Hall of Fame basketball coach who never got the national acclaim he deserved, mostly because of a coach (John Wooden) and team (UCLA) that dominated college basketball during Harshman’s era.
Here’s a column I wrote after interviewing Harshman at a book signing in 1994.