Dedication keeps award winners Harman, Ossey in the game
At age 84, Game-Changer Award winner Rod Harman finds that coaching has kept him young.
'I constantly get recharged when I'm around young men and women,' says Harman, who received his honor during Sunday's 60th annual Oregon Sports Awards show at Nike in Beaverton. 'I get their vitality, and I just get so pumped up. It's just very gratifying to me to be able to work with them and develop their potential. Each year I'm regenerated by that.'
Harman has spent nearly 60 years being regenerated by the high school athletes that he has coached. After beginning his coaching career in Sweet Home, working with the wrestling, football and track and field teams, Harman found his niche as a swimming coach. He still serves as an assistant swim coach at Southridge High and plans to continue coaching until that fountain of youth runs dry.
'I will probably be assisting or something like that as long as I can stand up,' he says.
The Game-Changer Award, one of 19 presented at the Oregon Sports Awards, goes to an administrator, athletic director or coach who has dedicated their life to high school sports and made compelling changes in a school or community.
Harman's high school teams have won eight state championships and earned 10 runner-up trophies in swimming, and he coached the Beaverton High boys to two state water polo titles. He has been the national coach of the year for both boys and girls swimming, and the Harman Swim Center at Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District is named after him.
• Ultimate Fan Award winner Bud Ossey went to his first Oregon State football game when he was 5 years old in 1924.
'My mother and I went down on the old electric train from Portland to Corvallis for my first football game,' he recalls, 'and I've been going to football games almost every year since.'
Ossey, who lives in Tualatin, has attended thousands of Oregon State football, baseball and basketball games. On top of being one of the biggest Beaver Believers in the state, he has been married to his wife, Maxine, for nearly 70-years and is the proud father of three sons. Well, he is the proud father of at least one son.
'Two of them were Ducks,' he says, joking that 'even though they're out of my will, I still support them. My oldest son, the smart one, he's an Oregon Stater.'