Coaches Corner – Harry Rutherford

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 7:02 PM

In this feature titled “Coach’s Corner”, I will be interviewing a different coach every week and asking them questions about their personal life and about coaching. Hopefully their answers will not only shed some light on how they coach their respective teams, but also allow readers to get to know the men behind the fields/courts.

This week features head softball coach Harry Rutherford of Elizabeth Forward high school. Coach Rutherford is in his 8th season as head coach of the Warriors, producing only one losing season. Coach Rutherford has led his squad to 5 straight postseason berths, and in 2012 they fell short of a WPIAL title, losing in the finals to Montour. Let’s take a look inside Coach Rutherford’s corner:

1.       What are some of your pet peeves?

People that are always late; laziness and someone that does not strive to their potential.

2.       What was your favorite TV show growing up?

Bonzana and Superman

3.       Who do you look up to the most?

My father.

4.       Who is your favorite sports player and why?

Roberto Clemente – everything that he accomplished.

5.       What is your favorite quote?

I really don’t have one.

6.       If you could take three things to a deserted island, what would they be?

My wife, two beach chairs, and our cat.

7.       What is the most important thing you try to preach to your players every year?

To keep up their grades – and to set reachable goals in their lives.

8.       Every year you start with a trip to Florida. How much does that help you prepare for the season?

It has been extremely important – in most years, we do not get outside on the field until our first section game.  The practices and games we play in Florida is almost worth three weeks of outside work in PA.   The bonus is having the girls together bonding.

9.       What is your proudest moment as a high school softball coach?

Watching each group of girls get excited about playing in the WPIAL playoffs.

10.   You are in your 8th year coaching at Elizabeth Forward, and you have had only one losing season. Describe what you go through every year to build a winning team.

The EF coaching staff works with the local recreation groups to continue a steady flow of young skilled players to continue thru the middle school and high school programs.  We encourage the younger players to participate in travel ball as early as 10 years of age to improve their softball skills.

11.   What was your most embarrassing moment as a high school softball coach?

Getting hit in the face with cake by several of the girls at a senior day banquet.

12.   You have led the Warriors to the playoffs for five straight years now. What is the key to so much consistent success?

Having a good group of returning players with several skilled players moving up from the middle school program.

13.   How did you decide you wanted to coach softball?

My daughters and step-daughter started to play recreational softball and travel ball and the local recreational association need coaches and the rest is history.

14.   In 2012, EF fell short in the WPIAL title game. Compared to that run, what do you think this year’s team needs to do to be able to win a WPIAL title?

To improve in all aspects of the game – pitching to spots; limit fielding mistakes and take advantage of timely hitting.

15.   How important has your family been throughout your coaching career?

Having a wife who is in love with this game helps – she spends as much time at the softball field as I do.  I probably would have retired years ago from coaching but she continues to say just one more year or one more group of girls.

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