Jason Harvey, the winningest coach in Husson University baseball history, announced his resignation from that post Thursday morning.
Harvey cited personal reasons for the decision to end his 12-year tenure as the Eagles’ head coach, as well as his position as the university’s assistant athletic director for facilities and game management.
“It is with great sadness that I step away from Husson, but due to personal matters this is what is best for me and my family at this time,” Harvey said. “I want to thank the university, athletics staff, coaches, current and former players for all they did for me during my time at Husson. I was blessed to coach alongside some great coaches who have made a great impact on my life to this day.”
There had been no previous public indication that Harvey was considering stepping down from a job he first took on an interim basis in 2008 after his legendary predecessor, Dr. John W. Winkin, suffered a stroke.
“I’m up to the point in my life that I don’t think anything ever surprises me any more,” Husson athletic director Frank Pergolizzi said. “I’m almost to the point where when somebody walks into your office you can tell by the look on their face that something is up. I know there have been some health issues in his family that have been a concern to him.
“We all love Jason and want the very best for him and at this point in time he’s determined that this is the best thing for him to do.”
Harvey was named Winkin’s permanent replacement in July 2008 and led the Eagles to postseason play 11 times with two North Atlantic Conference championships, one North Eastern Atlantic Conference crown, one NEAC East regular-season title and two NCAA Division III Tournament appearances.
This spring Harvey guided the Eagles to a 27-16 record as Husson captured the NAC tournament championship before bowing to City of New York Athletic Conference champion Baruch College in a best-of-three play-in series for an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
He concluded his Husson head coaching career with a 284-222 record, with his final victory this spring enabling him to pass John Kolasinski (283-263-1) for the most career baseball coaching victories at Husson.
“I was fortunate enough to coach a large group of fine young men during my time here at Husson and I am thankful that they gave me dedication, commitment and love to our baseball program,” Harvey said. “Husson is a great place with a lot of great people. The baseball program has been a second family to me, my wife and kids and it will truly be missed by all of us.”
Harvey joined the Husson coaching staff not long after graduating from the Bangor school in 2007.
The Bucksport native was a three-sport standout during his playing days at Husson. He was a 1,200-point scorer in basketball for the Eagles, a three-time all-conference choice and two-year captain as a shortstop under Winkin in baseball, and he led his team to a NAC title in his lone year on the Husson golf team.
Harvey was inducted into the Husson Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
“We are very sad that Jason will be leaving us,” Pergolizzi said. “He has made a significant contribution to both the baseball program and the athletic department during his time at Husson. The young men who have had the opportunity to play for him are very fortunate. We wish him and his family the very best.”
Pergolizzi plans to hire Harvey’s replacement in time to oversee the school’s fall baseball program. Among the potential in-house candidates are longtime assistant coaches Jason Folsom and Brandon Portwine.
Folsom recently completed his 13th season on the Husson baseball staff. The Millinocket native graduated from Husson in 2004. Portwine, another Millinocket product, has spent the last seven seasons at Husson and has 14 years of baseball coaching experience.
“We typically have done the fall program right at the start of classes, which this year is Sept. 3, but that’s just when Jason chose to start it,” Pergolizzi said. “You could be a week later or two weeks later and still have a full program so I don’t feel like we’re under the gun. I think a month and a half is a reasonable time period to do something and do it well and be thorough and not rush just to rush.
“The timing is important, but I don’t feel like it’s urgent at this particular moment.”