Remembering Coach Harry Stewart

A couple of months ago, one of my high school coaches passed away.  He coached my sophomore basketball team and my varsity football teams.  A classmate of mine is putting together a tribute that will be shared during this year’s alumni game over the Thanksgiving break.  He asked me to provide a couple of thoughts or memories of Coach Harry Stewart.

Some of my friends and family will remember these stories and hopefully recall Coach Stewart with the same fondness as me.

Coach Stewart coached my varsity football teams my Junior & Senior years. He also coached my sophomore basketball team. I recall him being soft spoken for the most part. Unlike other coaches I played for over the years, he rarely raised his voice.

I can only recall a couple of times when he raised his voice. Once was directed at me personally during my senior football season. I can’t tell you exactly what he said, but he got the message across and I won back my starting job the next week. Let’s just say he definitely motivated me that night.

Of course if you’re in the mood for a chuckle, no one can forget the basketball game at Marion when he ripped the seat out of his pants during the sophomore game. He didn’t seem the least bit flustered. He simply wrapped a towel around his belt (it may have take a couple towels), and strolled across the gym floor and back to the dressing room after the game.

Then there’s the night that as we were preparing to take the floor for the varsity basketball game (oddly enough this was at Marion too I believe), Coach Stewart showed up in the dressing room before the sophomore game was over. Coach Herrin asked him what was going on. Coach Stewart did appear a little flustered and basically let Rich know that he’d been ejected from the game. I didn’t get to witness it as I was dressing for the varsity game, but apparently after being ejected Coach Stewart turned and bowed to the officials and the crowd as he made his exit. What I’d have given to have seen that.

Coach Stewart was a unique guy and I enjoyed playing for him. I look back at my sophomore basketball season and my varsity football seasons with great fondness. We often tell stories and chuckle about Coach Stewart’s coaching style. But as I’ve said before if there’s anything in life I could do over, I’d love to play football again. Heck, I’d love to play football for Coach Stewart again.

Godspeed Coach Stewart

Cheers,
Braddog

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