Written by John Antonik
Steve Harrick had one of the most successful coaching tenures in WVU history, leading the Mountaineer baseball and wrestling programs for a total of 29 seasons.
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A graduate of WVU in 1924 and a member of WVU's first wrestling team in 1921, Harrick played professional football with Steubenville and professional baseball with Wheeling and Fairmont in the Middle Atlantic League. During that time, Harrick also served as an instructor and wrestling coach at WVU until 1932.
After briefly coaching at Point Pleasant High School in 1932-33, he joined the West Virginia Tech staff where he was athletic director and head football coach for the next 14 years.
Harrick returned to his alma mater in 1947 to assume the duties of associate professor in the School of Physical Education and head coach of the baseball and wrestling teams. In 1950, Harrick authored the book, ABCs of Wrestling, and he also served as tournament director of the West Virginia State High School Wrestling Championships for 13 years.
During his 29 seasons as wrestling coach spanning a total of five decades, Harrick compiled a 155-99-4 record for a outstanding .608 winning percentage. His WVU wrestling teams won five Southern Conference championships with 42 wrestlers claining individual conference titles.
Harrick was inducted into wrestling's Helms Hall of Fame in 1969; in 2003 he was posthumously recognized with a "Lifetime Service to Wrestling" award for his contributions to the sport.
Harrick had similar success as West Virginia's baseball coach, guiding the Mountaineers for 20 seasons. He posted a 334-160-1 mark for a winning percentage of .678. Six of his Mountaineer teams won Southern Conference titles and seven earned NCAA district playoff berths.
Harrick's 1963 team posted a 30-3 mark, the first 30-win season in school history, and finished in the national rankings.
Eighteen of his former players were selected by professional organizations, including major leaguer Paul Popovich, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Harrick also tutored WVU's first baseball All-America selection in Bill Marovic (1964). The outfielder batted .404 and led the Mountaineers in eight offensive categories to win the award from the Baseball Coaches Association.
Harrick was inducted into the Association of College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1975, and making that occasion even more memorable was the fact that long-time friend Art Rooney was there to introduce Harrick just days before his Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl title.
The Fordham, Pa. native is also a member of the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He died December 7, 1988.