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Bothell resident Marv Harshman, an old-fashioned gentleman

Legendary coach Marv Marshman was a longtime Bothell resident.  - contributed photo
Legendary coach Marv Marshman was a longtime Bothell resident.
— image credit: contributed photo

Revered Hall of Fame basketball coach and longtime Bothell resident Marv Harshman passed away on April 12 at age 95.

Harshman - also known as "Coach" and "Harsh" - modeled the true, old-fashioned gentleman and he was a beloved family man. He also served on Bothell’s City Council and once led the Fourth of July Parade as grand marshall. He and his wife, Dorothy, were members of the Northshore YMCA, where Harshman exercised several times a week, well into his 90s.

The Harshmans lived in a modest rambler near Bothell High School where they raised their three sons David, Michael and Brian.

Dorothy once said, “I would sit in the Bothell High School gym watching my boys play, while listening to the radio to hear what the Husky basketball score was.”

It was Dorothy’s husband who coached winning basketball teams at the University of Washington (UW), Washington State University (WSU) and Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). His 40 years of coaching earned him 654 wins and a gold medal in Mexico City as the Team USA coach for the Pan American Team of 1975. It also earned him a big win over UCLA rival coach and friend John Wooden.

A man of integrity and humility, Harshman lived by his famous “3 R’s” – Respect, Responsibility and Readiness, which he also taught his teams. He stressed the importance of players conducting themselves in an upstanding manner both on and off the court.

Harshman took most pride in his role as teacher, showing players not only “how” to perform a task, but also teaching them the “why” and “when.”

A natural athlete, he also coached football, baseball and track at PLU, and became their athletic director.

Of his many awards, Harshman became the 35th coach inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) honored him as the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1984.

Additional honors included the Pac-10 Hall of Champions in 2003, first recipient of John Wooden’s “Keys to Life” Award and the first Royal Brougham “Legends” Award at the Seattle Sports Star of the Year ceremony. More honors included induction into 15 halls of fame and two alumni awards from PLU, including their Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Harshman, the ultimate bookworm and world traveler, could converse on any subject from chopping wood to history and geography. Although he loved Dorothy’s pumpkin pie and homemade Swedish rye bread, he also made his own jam from raspberries and strawberries grown in their Bothell backyard.

Harshman was born on Oct. 4, 1917 and was raised during the Depression in Lake Stevens, Wash. He once said, “The Depression was difficult, but as I look back, I realize we learned some good basic lessons – to use our initiative to be more creative, and best of all, to learn to appreciate the things we have.”

As his friend, Jill Reich said, “Harsh had a good heart and loved people … The world would be an incredibly wonderful place if it were filled with Marv Harshmans.”

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the Marv Harshman Court at the University of Washington Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

In memory of Marv and Dorothy Harshman, donations can be made to: The Marv and Dorothy Harshman Endowment Scholarship Fund at PLU; Marv Harshman Scholarship Fund at the UW College of Education; Marv Harshman Men’s Basketball Scholarship Endowment at the UW; or Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Shoreline.

Suzanne G. Beyer was a longtime friend of Bothell resident and legendary coach Marv Marshman.

 

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