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Gene Harr

Coaching ∙ Freedom

 

 

 

 

Gene Harr doesn’t possess a particularly outstanding record as a head coach, although his tenure at Freedom High School included the school’s only unbeaten grid team. But his attention to detail, loyalty, dedication, and total recall are well known attributes of his coaching legacy. Not big enough to play the sport he loves in high school, Gene will gladly tell you that he got into coaching because he was hungry. Following graduation from Geneva College in 1943, Gene began his sideline stint at his high school alma mater, coaching junior high basketball for ten years and also assisting the varsity football team in 1944. In 1949 he took over Bulldog head coaching duties and in his second year guided the school to its first undefeated grid season, although Freedom lacked the proper number of Gardner Points to qualify for the WPIAL title. Throughout the 1950s, despite playing against schools with much larger teams, Freedom held its own under Gene’s direction. He is particularly pleased that four of his Bulldogs went on to All American status in college. In 1959 Gene joined his good friend Larry Bruno at Beaver Falls as defensive coordinator, and Gene’s “Alley Cats” were known for their excellent defensive play. In fact he was asked to speak at coaching clinics around the country. When he retired from coaching in 1979, Gene was presented with a plaque from the Midwestern Athletic Conference Coaches Association for his outstanding service to high school athletics.