Harvey John Harman (November 5, 1900-December 17, 1969)
Mr. Harman was one of the most prolific coaches of Rutgers Football. He played at the University of Pittsburgh under “Pop” Warner from 1920-21. After graduating, he moved on to Haverford University where he was head coach beginning in 1922 through 1929. For a year, 1930, he was the head coach of what was then known as the University of the South. Today, it is known as Sewannee. He moved on to the University of Pennsylvania where he was head coach from 1931 to 1937.
He was the head coach at Rutgers from 1938-1941 and again from 1946-55. So what did Mr. Harman do between 1942 and 1945? On December 7, 1941, the attack at Pearl Harbor took place. By 1942, about a dozen Rutgers athletes – eight of them football players – were already in the military. Hearing the call of patriotic duty, the 41-year old head coach, Harvey Harman, and backfield coach Eddie Masavage enlisted in the Navy’s V-5 physical training aviation program as instructors. A few months later, end coach Al Sabo also enlisted. Freshman football coach Dave Bender had been made a captain in the Air Corp Intelligence.
Mr. Harman wound up on the U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard aircraft carrier in the Pacific participating in the Battle of Okinawa and Battle of Leyte Gulf. He was discharged from the Navy with the rank of Commander. His staff coach, Eddie Masavage, served 14 months and also wound up on an aircraft carrier, the Essex, before returning to his peacetime job “On the Banks of the Old Raritan.”
Harvey Harman returned to coach the 1946 Rutgers team after his honorable discharge. Mr. Harman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
Of note, Harvey Harman and Foster Sanford are the only members of the College Football Hall of Fame inducted as Rutgers Head Coaches.
Harvey Harman’s Lifetime Record was 140-107-7.
RIP Harvey John Harman.