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Old 12-13-2008
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Harvard's Haak Hits Milestone

Harvard coach wins 500th career dual

McHenry County Sports

Harvard wrestling coach Tim Haak doesn’t yell much on the sidelines, but when he does his instructions are heeded by his wrestlers, and the result generally shows up on the scoreboard.

Haak on Thursday got his 500th career dual win for the Hornets, who won a triangular against North Boone, 84-0, and Genoa-Kingston,

68-5. He becomes only the third coach in IHSA history to win 500 dual meets at a single school.

“It’s really an honor to be part of it,” Haak said of the milestone. “It kind of sneaks up on you. You can’t even comprehend it.”

Haak’s advice was evident in Dan Stott’s match against Genoa-Kingston at 160 pounds.

Stott was on top of Clay Chaberski, who was on all fours but was stalemated in his attempts to take down the G-K wrestler.

When Haak told Stott to get his hand around Chaberski’s waist, the result was immediate with Stott scoring a two-point takedown. Stott went on to win in a major decision, 11-0.

“He basically walks me through everything,” Stott said of Haak. “Once he says something, it’s a lot easier to do it.”

After the meet, Harvard principal Rob Zielinski presented Haak’s children, Shane and Mallory, with a plaque honoring the event. Zielinski said he didn’t want Haak to get a hold of the commemorative trophy.

“We know if we give it to Tim he’ll throw it in the bottom of a drawer, and we’ll never see it again,” Zielinski said.

The chiding was probably accurate as Haak said that he hadn’t even mentioned the record to his team before the meet. Andy Kick confirmed his coach’s low key approach.

“It’s just another meet until they decided to make a big deal out of it,” Kick said.

Kick had two pins on the night at 171 and also benefited from Haak’s advice on the mat. Being a good listener was an important quality to have as a wrestler, Kick said.

“Coach is always giving us information to do better on the mat,” Kick said. “We always wrestle with our ears open.”

In typical Haak fashion, he gave credit to his predecessors at Harvard, who he said began the wrestling tradition for the Hornets. Johns Sciacca coached from 1961-1978 and Richard Holtfreter, who immediately preceded Haak from 1978-1987.

Haak is in his 22nd year as head coach at Harvard.

“Harvard wrestling was good before Tim Haak got here,” he said.

Haak said the accomplishment was not so much a credit to him as to the system in Harvard that includes coaches, volunteers, former wrestlers and the junior feeder program.

“It’s such a family,” Haak said. “These things don’t happen without a lot of great people around you.”

Haak also gave credit to his family for supporting him as a coach in both football and wrestling. He said his wife, Chris, was the program’s biggest supporter both at home and at school.

“It’s a big part of our family,” Haak said.

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Last edited by admin; 12-13-2008 at 07:41 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 12-13-2008
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Congrats to coach Haak. Whats REALLY impressive about his 500 victories is the amount of time it took to achieve this. It averages out to 22.7 victories a year! Unbelievable! Again my congratulations to Coach Haak. The Harvard wrestling community should be proud.
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