Harter Dead at 81

UO Athletic Department
Posted Mar 13, 2012

EUGENE, Ore. -- Dick Harter, who coached the University of Oregon men’s basketball team from 1971-78, passed away Monday. He was 81.

Harter will forever be remembered in Duck lore as the man who brought the “Kamikaze Kids” and their legacy to Oregon basketball. Posting an overall record of 113-81 in his seven years as head coach, Harter’s teams were known for their defensive prowess and hard-charging attitudes. Harter attracted some of the best players ever to wear the green and yellow, including Ron Lee, Greg Ballard, and former UO head coach Ernie Kent.

He compiled six consecutive winning seasons, including three straight National Invitation Tournament trips from 1974-1977 with records of 21-9, 20-10, and 19-10. He was also named Pac-8 Coach of the Year in 1977.

The Pottstown, Pa., native went on to coach as an assistant in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

Harter became the first head coach of the expansion Charlotte Hornets in 1988, coaching the franchise in its first two seasons in the NBA. He was also an assistant on the 2000 Pacers team that lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Prior to Oregon, Harter served as head coach at both Penn and Penn State.

Harter was inducted into the University of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2001. He was also a member the Big Five Hall of Fame in Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania (Pottstown Chapter) Hall of Fame. He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

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