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Longtime Duke Wrestling Coach Bill Harvey Passes Away
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/01/2012
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DURHAM, N.C.--Bill Harvey, who served as Duke's head wrestling coach for 31 years until retiring in 1997, passed away on Wednesday night.  He was 76.

Harvey was a dedicated member of the Duke athletic department for 37 years, 31 of which were as the head wrestling coach. During his time at the helm of the wrestling program (1967-1997), Harvey accumulated a career record of 220-195-4, ranking him fourth all-time in victories among ACC coaches at the time of his retirement. His 220 career wins remains the most of any Duke wrestling coach in the history of the program. He was inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in September 2004 with Danny Ferry, Cedric Jones, John Kerr and Christine, Patricia and Theresa O'Reilly.

Harvey coached 16 conference champions, including two ACC Tournament Most Valuable Wrestlers (Greg Penny, 1973 and Mike Darlington, 1992) and 23 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, including three-time qualifier Joel Puleo and fellow Duke Hall of Fame member and two-time qualifier Ed Newman. Duke's only Olympic wrestler, Bert Govig, also competed under Harvey's tutelage in the early 1980s. The team as a whole flourished under Harvey as well, with the program registering six of Duke's eight seasons with 10 or more dual meet wins.

The Duke wrestling team was also very successful off the mat and in the classroom. In 1997, under Harvey's watchful eye, Duke finished with the highest team GPA in the country at 3.9847. The next closest school was Princeton that year with a 3.258.

In April 2001, Harvey received an honorary lifetime membership to the National Wrestling Coaches Association for his tireless support of the sport of wrestling. In 2005, the longtime coach was awarded the Liftetime Service to Wrestling award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in young people through the sport of wrestling.

His 37 years at Duke also included stints as an assistant football, assistant wrestling and freshmen baseball coach.

Visitation hours will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, March 4 at Hall Wynne Funeral Home, 1113 W. Main St., Durham.  A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, March 5 at The Church of the Immaculate Conception, 810 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham. The family requests that donations be made in honor of Coach Harvey to the Duke Varsity Club Wrestling Fund at: Box 90541, Durham, NC 27708.

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