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Originally published April 23, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Page modified April 23, 2013 at 9:39 PM

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Marv Harshman public memorial at UW on May 11

Hall of Fame basketball coach Marv Harshman, who died at age 95, will be honored May 11 at 1 p.m. at Harshman practice court at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Seattle Times staff reporter


A public memorial service celebrating the life of Marv Harshman will be at 1 p.m. on May 11 at the University of Washington, where he became a Northwest coaching icon.

Harshman, a Hall of Fame basketball coach, died April 12 at age 95.

"When you live your life in the public, there's a lot of people — particularly older people — who identified with him and his career," said Harshman's son Dave. "The fact that he spent 40 years coaching, and all in the state of Washington, is pretty unique.

"We want to make this a celebration and not a funeral. I'm hoping it's going to be a joyful celebration."

The memorial service, which will last about 90 minutes, will be at the Marv Harshman practice court at Alaska Airlines Arena. A reception will immediately follow in the arena concourse.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar is expected to speak, along with several other former players for Harshman.

The legendary coach began his career at Pacific Lutheran University, where he led the Lutes to four NAIA District I titles in basketball and four national-tournament appearances. He was 241-121 in 13 years (1945-58) at PLU.

Harshman moved to Washington State, where he compiled a 151-185 record during a 13-year tenure (1958-71). His best teams finished second in the Pac-8 Conference three times behind powerhouse UCLA.

At Washington, Harshman had his greatest success.

In 14 years with the Huskies (1971-85), he led them to four 20-victory seasons and five postseason appearances, including three NCAA tournaments (1976, '84 and '85) and two National Invitation Tournaments (1980 and '82).

Harshman also was a multisport athlete at Pacific Lutheran. He was an All-American fullback in football, all-conference in basketball and a standout in track.

He played professional football for the Tacoma Indians in 1946 and pro basketball for the Tacoma Mountaineers in 1947.

Yet coaching is where Harshman found fame and acclaim.

"He touched so many people," Dave Harshman said. "There's a lot of people that will want to be a part of the whole thing. We certainly won't turn anybody away."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or

On Twitter @percyallen