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The New Ins And Outs of Harvard Sports

While You Were Away...

By Michael R. Grunwald

You thought you had finally memorized the ins and outs of Harvard athletics.

You know that Briggs is a Cage, that Bright is a Center, that Soldiers (no apostrophe) is a Field. You know that the track coach is named Haggerty (Frank), while the water polo coach is named Hafferty (Chris). You know that head hockey Coach Bill Cleary ('56) is now athletic director, that associate hockey coach Ronn (two n's) Tomassoni (one m, one n, two s's) is now head hockey coach, that former hockey Captain Lane MacDonald (spelled like the old guy who had a farm, not the fast food joint) is now assistant hockey coach.

But now it's time to hit the books again. Because after this summer--a busy one for Cleary and his search committees--you have a host of new ins and outs to study:

IN: Leigh Hogan--new men's baseball coach. The last time the Crimson went to the College World Series, in 1974, Hogan was Harvard's All-Ivy first baseman. Hogan also played hockey under Cleary, and had been coaching both sports at nearby Buckingham, Browne and Nichols High School.

OUT: Alex Nahigian--former men's baseball coach. Nahigian, 74, retired after rolling up a 249-152-3 mark over his 12-year Harvard tenure. He was named the New England Coach of the Year in 1983, 1984 and 1985.

IN: Gordon Graham--new women's tennis coach. Graham had been the head coach at the University of the Pacific since 1978.

OUT: Ed Krass--former women's tennis coach. Krass left the Crimson after leading it to the Ivy title in each of his four years as head coach.

IN: Andrea Wickerham--new assistant athletic director. Wickerham has been an AAD at Central Connecticut State since 1986.

OUT: The Harvard varsity heavyweight crew--former national champions. After defeating Wisconsin by a healthy margin in the Eastern Sprints, the Crimson was stunned by the Badgers in Cincinnati, losing the NCAA title by a whopping 4.34 seconds.

IN: Ed Schluntz--new freshman football coach. Schluntz had spent more than 20 years as head football coach and athletic director at Brookline High School.

OUT: Donald J. Allard, Jr.--former freshman football coach.

IN: Kathy Leonard--new assistant sports information director. Leonard, a Winchester native, had held the same post at Brown since last year. But nobody's holding that against her.

OUT (But not really out): Julie Rice, former assistant SID. Rice, who hails from scenic upstate New York, has moved across the river to take over the position of assistant director of operations for Harvard athletics.

Meredith Rainey '90 may be out of Harvard, but she certainly isn't out of the limelight, out of shape or out of the running. Far from it. The NCAA 800-meter champion qualified for the Goodwill Games this summer. She finished seventh in Seattle, but is considered a strong contender for the 1992 Olympic gold.

Bob Baxter '90 knew he was in for some surprises when he signed on to pitch with the Jamestown Expos in the New York-Penn League, the Class A circuit that has spawned stars like Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs and Dwight Gooden. But this was ridiculous.

On August 6, Baxter took the mound against the Niagara Falls Rapids and looked in at his catcher, Dan Hargis, for a sign. Hargis rubbed his chest. Hargis tugged at his equipment. Hargis crossed himself. Hargis did not, however, flash him one of the signs they had arranged before the game.

After about 10 minutes of Hargis' slapstick signs and Baxter's frantic head-shaking, home plate umpire Peter Funt, the host of Candid Camera, approached the mound. Smile, Bobby.

Baxter went on to pitch a seven-inning complete game victory--with a real ump. He has chalked up a 4-3 record with a 4.97 ERA. His teammate, Tom Decareau, left Harvard after his junior season to join the San Diego Padres organization. In 55 Arizona League at-bats, Decareau has compiled a .273 average.

David Berkoff '89 was a member of the first-ever student-athlete committee to address the University Presidents Commission. Berkoff and two other swimmers complained about pending NCAA legislation limiting practice time to 20 hours. The legislation passed anyway.

And for those who have lost touch with the Boston pro sports scene:

The Red Sox had a magical summer, catapulting past the Blue Jays into a comfortable first-place lead. They can thank the baseball gods that the Jays are a team of chokers, whiners and losers, that Roger Clemens exists and that castaway hurlers named Tom Bolton, Mike Boddicker, Greg Harris and Dana Kiecker have managed to keep them mediocre on days when Clemens isn't pitching.

The Celtics had an embarrassing summer. First, they were snubbed by Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, and were forced to hire Chris Ford instead. Then they found themselves in a bizarre courtroom battle with guard Brian Shaw and his rebellious agent, Jerome Stanley. Finally, Reggie Lewis announced to the media that he was planning to leave Boston, at the same moment that his agent (You guessed it--Jerome Stanley) was hammering out a contract with Celtic management. The Green Mystique is dead.

The Bruins had a quiet summer. Ray Borque and Bruin Coach Mike Milbury got gypped out of the MVP and Coach of the Year awards. Borque and Cam Neely signed megabuck contracts. Otherwise, blissful peace.

The Patriots are a horrible, horrible football team.

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