Harmatuk takes the helm of Friar Basketballl

Mike Higgins

After seven years at the helm of the basketball program, Coach Jim Rullo has taken the college coaching job at nearby Neumann University. Following a national search by the athletic department, John Harmatuk has been tabbed as the man for the job.

Coach Harmatuk comes from Cypress Springs High School in Cypress, Texas, a northwest suburb of Houston. He was quite successful during his 12-year tenure at his former school guiding the Panthers to the eight state playoff appearances.

Harmatuk’s coaching style will definitely be a change from previous years. When asked about his coaching philosophy he said, “On offense I believe in layups, free throws, and three pointers. And to guard the same things on defense. Toughness wins games. We will be the toughest team on the floor each night.”

That toughness will certainly be necessary in the extremely competitive Inter-Ac League. Germantown Academy, the defending champions, will again be strong, but the Haverford School is easily the favorite. After an influx of transfers and returning stars, the Fords have one of their best teams in over a decade.

The Friars’ team is filled with underclassmen, so the lack of experience could be an issue. On the other hand, Coach Harmatuk will have a few years to bond with his players and install his system of basketball to build a championship winning team.

In 2007, Harmatuk had arguably his most successful season as he coached his squad to a 31-7 record and picked up the 2007 Regional Coach of the Year award. Harmatuk said, “I’m coming from coaching at the highest level of high school basketball in the state of Texas. We welcome the competition.”

Harmatuk is unquestionably a 21st Century basketball coach. He is active on twitter and on blogspot. Also Coach Harmatuk runs the new Malvern Basketball Twitter Account, a great way to interact and connect with players, coaches, alumni, and fans. You can follow him @coachtuk on Twitter or read his blog called “Character Thru Basketball”.

Malvern will be looking to improve on its 1-9 Inter-Ac League record this season, and athletic director Kurt Ruch is counting on Coach Harmatuk to get the job done as the team unity will be strong following the summer camps and offseason workouts.

Harmatuk’s goals for the upcoming season? “Expectations are it’s a process to get better everyday. This will be our focus.” With a young team and new coaching philosophy the Friars are on the right track.