Dick Harvey

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Legendary Kenmore West Basketball Coach

For most athletes, the sporting glories and exploits of youth eventually give way to the mundane responsibilities of adulthood. A fortunate few, however, such as Dunkirk’s Dick Harvey, are able to pursue sporting passion throughout a lifetime of involvement that changes in format (from playing to coaching), but remains undiminished in zeal.

A three-year varsity starter in basketball at Dunkirk High, Harvey was squad captain, and a league all-star, his junior and senior years. The league scoring champ his senior season, Dick was also All-Western New York that year. At the University of Buffalo, Harvey was MVP of the freshman five in 1961, and started for the varsity the next three seasons. He was honored with selection as team captain in 1963-64.

In 1966, Harvey signed on as physical education teacher and varsity basketball coach at Kenmore West High School, and over the next 35 years compiled a stellar record of 445-244. These numbers only begin to tell the story, however. During Dick’s tenure, the Blue Devils captured a State Western Conference Title (1978), four Section VI Championships, nine Niagara Frontier League Championships, five Divisional Championships, six Ken-Ton Holiday Tournament Championships, and four Pre-Season Tournament Championships. Dick was tapped to coach the Empire State Games Western Region teams, and his teams captured a gold, two silver, and a bronze medal in the 1992-96 Games.

While the big games and the cheering crowds were surely a thrilling part of coaching, Harvey the teacher found great satisfaction in the quieter moments, teaching the game he loved to his players during practice and watching as his lessons took hold. A tireless student of the game, Dick parlayed his coaching experience and skills into several widely-circulated books and articles, and has been a regular instructor for years at local and regional coaching camps and clinics.

Dick’s knowledge of the game, and his results, have earned him numerous awards, such as the Sports Digest Western New York Coach of the Year (1973), the New York State Honor Award (1978), the New York State Coaches Award (1986), the Franklin United Gold Medal Award (1987), and the Section VI High School Sports Coach of the Year (1993). Dick is a member of the Kenmore West Sports Hall of Fame, and tonight adds another accolade to an impressive collection with his induction into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.