Coaches Corner: Getting to know Coach Michael Harvill By David Shirley Staff Writer “I am doing exactly what I want to be doing-teaching and coachin
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“I am doing exactly what I want to be doing-teaching and coaching football and tennis,” were Coach Michael Harvill’s thoughts on his duties at AHS. “I would not want to go anywhere else.”
Harvill grew up in Michie and attended Michie Elementary School before moving on to complete his Junior High and High School days at AHS.
While at AHS, Harvill played football for four years, playing the position of center. Strangely enough, Harvill did not play tennis in his time in high school.
After graduating in 1992, Harvill found his way to Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson. While there he took a beginner’s tennis class, attended some FHU team matches and was soon hooked on the sport. “Tennis is a sport you can play for your entire life,” Harvill said when speaking with us in his Michie home last week.
Michael received his degree from FHU in Social and Behavioral Sciences in December of 1997.
Soon thereafter Harvill received a call from AHS inquiring if he wanted to come there to teach. Michael accepted the offer and went to work right away. Shortly afterward he began his coaching career also which led him to his current posts of head coach boys and girls tennis and head coach junior high football and teaching seventh grade math.
Harvill, 36, resides in Michie with his wife, Amala, daughters Addie, 11, and Annalyn, 8, 14 cats and 2 dogs around one mile from where he lived growing up.
Michael said tennis was his number one hobby. He also likes to fish and take walks with his family.
We asked the veteran coach if he had a favorite quote and he shared a special bible passage he attempts to live by from Proverbs 3:5, 6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
We then asked Coach Harvill a series of rapid fire questions as follows:
Q. When did you discover you wanted to coach?
A. I don’t know that I ever dreamed of coaching-it just sort of happened. For me teaching comes first-coaching second.
Q. Who or what inspired you to get in to coaching?
A. Former AHS Coach Don Todd told me “I want you to go to Freed-Hardeman, get your degree and come back here and coach football.”
Q. Who have been the most influential people in your life?
A. My family and my church have been very influential. Also, my former preacher at Acton Church of Christ, Mike Eaton, saw potential in me. He told me that I was going to go to college. He took me to FHU, got me signed up and helped me get financial aid and everything. That is where I met my wife, if not for him I don’t know where I would be.
Q. Do you try to emulate any other coaches?
A. I have pretty much been my own kind of person. I knew what I wanted to do-to teach and coach in the same manner I would want someone to teach and coach me or my children.
Q. What part do coaches play in the lives of young people today?
A. Coaches and teachers are both extremely influential, but coaches especially have more of an opportunity to be a special influence because they get to spend so much extra time with the kids.
Q. What is your favorite thing about coaching?
A. In football I love the strategizing. I also like getting out there and doing the wind sprints and agility drills with the guys. In tennis I love getting out there and hitting balls on the courts with the kids
Q. What is your least favorite?
A. Losing, paperwork and time away from my family.
Q. What is your most memorable moment in your coaching career up till now?
A. In tennis my brother Stephen Harvill made it all the way to the state finals during his sophomore year. In football we have won the county championship the last three years, to go along with the two we won earlier in my career. We beat Hardin County in our Homecoming in 2007. Also we defeated Michie last season in a double overtime thriller.
Q. If you could spend an evening with any 3 individuals, past or present, who would they be and why?
A. Jesus-to ask him how he dealt with different issues while here on earth-and did it perfectly.
My late Papaw Tom Harvill-I would like to hear more stories of how it used to be and because I still miss him sometimes.
My late father-in-law Rex Rainwater. He never got to see my children. I would love to show him my girls and see what he thinks.
Q. What advice would you give others considering getting in to coaching/teaching?
A. Keep your priorities right. Always remember it is not all just about wins and losses. Always try to see things from the proper perspective. Consider what kind of an example you are setting for those kids, on and off the field.
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