By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
It’s a return home for Darryl Harbaugh, who’s been named girls basketball coach at Seneca High School.
“It’s kind of like coming home again,” Harbaugh said Thursday. “I’m excited.”
Bob Coffey recently stepped down as head coach of the Class 3 Big 8 Conference school.
Harbaugh actually is coming home. He graduated from Seneca in 1979 and coached three years with the Indians before going to nearby Neosho for the last eight.
“I enjoyed those earlier years at Seneca,” Harbaugh said. “I’m looking forward to the experience. I will be doing what I like to do. I like coaching. I love basketball.”
The 2013-14 season will be No. 14 in coaching/teaching for Harbaugh. He turned 52 last Friday.
Harbaugh has coached about every activity since deciding to ditch “working.” He began his coaching career with a two-year stint at Sarcoxie.
Harbaugh was with Milnot for 16 years before starting work on changing his occupation. He worked while attending Missouri Southern.
“There were times when I was working 10 hours a day and then spending 2 1/2 hours with the boys and girls at Westview,” he said.
“There were many week days during the winter when I didn’t see our home in daylight,” Harbaugh added with a laugh.
Harbaugh said former Ozark Christian College athlete Breann Stephens, who assisted Coffey, will continue as his assistant.
“We need to get our girls playing and involved,” Harbaugh said. “That’s how to build a program from the bottom up. We’d love to have enough girls to field a freshman team.”
Darryl and wife Annette have four adult children. Annette helps with preschool kids at Neosho.
Darryl is the son of Mary Lou and Marvin D. “Duffy” Harbaugh. Mom still lives in Seneca. Dad died in 2009.
Duffy, who played shortstop in the Yankee farm system, also was an all-stater in basketball at Joplin High School. He was a junior on the Eagles’ 1950 state championship team and played a year at Southwest Missouri State.
The elder Harbaugh gained fame for kicking a game-winning extra point for the Eagles against Springfield Central. The street shoe was bronzed and displayed in the Eagles’ trophy case for many years.