Poor Health Forces Crimson Mastermind to Quit After 13 Years as Head Coach
Two years of critical health forced the resignation yesterday of Richard Cresson Harlow, head football coach at Harvard since 1935. Coming 13 years to the day from the time when he took over the Crimson reigns from Edward L. Casey, the 58-year-old mentor's resignation followed closely on the heels of a communication from his physician, Dr. Walter Kempner of the Duke University hospital, Durham, North Carolina.
Thus ended the 35-year football career of one of the nation's most widely acclaimed gridiron tactician, a career which began as a player for Pennsylvania State in 1913, led first to a coaching job at College (1921-25), thence to the position of football mentor and athletic director at Western Maryland (1925-34), and finally to Harvard.
No Successor Yet
"We have no uccesser in mind for the $10,000a-year job, but it will probably be someone outside the present coaching staff," director of athletic publicity Arthur Sampson stated earlier today for Athletic Director William J. Bingham, who is attending the NCAA Rules Committee meeting in New York.
Harlow was first laid low by his high blood pressure while serving as a lieutenant, commander in the Navy on Midway-Island in 1943. After spending all of 1944 in various naval hospitals, he was finally discharged for disability.
He resumed coaching in 1945, tutoring the Crimson informal team of that year; but in spite of two-hour naps before every practice session, his condition went from bad to worse, often forcing him to retire from the practice field because of dizziness.
Under the care of Dr. Kempner, recommended to him by his old friend, author John Kieran, and on a strict diet of honey and rice, Harlow showed signs of improvement between the 1946 and 1947 football seasons; but the strain of tutoring the Crimson last fall set Harlow's health back farther than ever and let to Dr. Kempner's ultimatum.
Harlow, under whom half the present Ivy League football mentors received their initial coaching experience, is enroute to his home in Westminster, Maryland, where he will rest for two months in anticipation of another check-up.
If his improvement satisfies Dr. Kempner, he will try to got a "quite" job in football, perhaps scouting, according to Sampson. "Dick's too crazy about football to do anything else," Sampson added.
Meanwhile Jerry Nason hinted in the Boston Globe that Harlow's resignation had not only been forced by poor health, but that "a player revolt of last Autumn was also a factor."
Six first-string players wee reported to have informed Bingham that they would not play football for Harvard in 1948 under Dick Harlow