Some of it has been said before, over and over again. It is being said once more now. You could never sell a Harvard team short, they say. And they remind you of the crazily effective Harvard defenses that once prompted a confused Pennsylvania quarterback to call across the line of scrimmage that if you follows will only keep still for a minute, I'll be able to call a play." Harlow was a great November coach, they say. And they single out a November Saturday in 1937 when Yale arrived in Cambridge boasting Clint Frank and an undefeated season, and left the Stadium on the upside down end of a 13-6 score. They have said more. So much, in fact, that Dick Harlow's career at Harvard has long since been translated from the record into legend.
But they have not said it all. They have forgotten that Dick Harlow came to Harvard with the reputation of being a career coach, a professional who was interested in only lone thing-victory, and victory at any cost. He came from a Western Maryland team that had won 27 consecutive games to a Harvard team that had won 27 consecutive games to a Harvard team that had won nothing anybody could remember for three years, and the ugly word was out that Harvard was going to indulge in underhand player solicitations. Harlow did not proselytize, solicit, or finagle. "I wanted to be associated with a decent institution before I die," he has since said. And the great triumph of his tenure at Harvard--the longest in the college's football history--is that he was able to equate the increasingly lonely standards of the Athletic Association with respectable standards on the gridiron.
"Respectable" is a word that the current generation of undergraduates may consider to be inaccurate. Not many buttons popped off vests after the Virginia, Rutgers, and Princeton games this season. Furthermore, members of the squad, if ubiquitous rumors in the Boston press have any truth behind them, have not found life milk and money on Soldiers Field this past fall. Taken in the light of the fact that Dick Harlow has been a sick man, the existence of dissatisfied undergraduates and disgruntled football players should surprise nobody. The surprising thing is that dick Harlow was able to achieve what he did, coaching a team to seven wins in 1946, and to a couple of upsets and a highly respectable showing against Yale this past fall. Tiring frequently after walking a few yards, and limited to rice and fruit juice for subsistence. Dick Harlow has reinforced skill with doggedness ingenuity with courage. After two years, he has been forced to give up the battle. He cakes with him a multitude of wishes for a quick recovery of his health. He leaves behind him thirteen years of distinguished service to Harvard-athletics.