New head coach looks to keep the Cru on top
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - For the first time ever, UMHB will take the field this fall without Pete Fredenburg at the helm.
His replacement, Larry Harmon, has been an assistant with UMHB for over two decades running the defense that has been one of the most dominant in the country.
Typically, a first-year head coach joins a program in need of a rebuild, but Coach Harmon is taking over a team that’s already at the top of Division Three – and expects to stay there.
Harmon laughs, “There are two things you don’t do in coaching: you don’t go to a program that just won a National Championship and you don’t follow a legend like Coach Fredenburg. I’m doing both, so I am not very smart!”
He is smart enough to know that a lot of his team’s success has come from the approach they take off the field.
“We have always been a program that has taken young men and developed them into being better men and better husbands. Because we are concentrating on being the best we can in everything we do – the winning is just a biproduct of all of that.”
The team has a new offensive coordinator that will likely spread things out and speed things up. With Coach Harmon’s promotion, a new coach will call the defense as well. Still, you can expect the core philosophies to stay the same – win on special teams, play great defense, and don’t beat yourself on offense.
“That is what we believe is championship football and that is not going to change. I was with Pete for 22 years, why change a recipe that has proven to work time after time after time.”
One of the biggest changes for Harmon will be where he coaches from. His entire career has been spent up in the press box, and now he will be moving to the sidelines.
“I liked to get away from the emotion of it. Just sit up there with a pad of paper and just think about the X’s and O’s and the concepts of things. Being down on the sideline is something I am looking forward to. I am anxious about it because I am not quite sure if I am going to like it or not.”
Luckily for Harmon, he spent the last 22 years under Coach Fredenburg, learning what it takes to be a Hall-of-Fame head coach.
“The biggest thing I have learned from Coach Fredenburg is, the person that sits in that chair better be a servant leadership guy. Coach Fred led us by serving us and making sure we had everything that we needed to do our job. That is one thing I have kept my eye on.”
Coach Harmon will take the field as head coach for the first time on September 3rd against Muhlenberg College.
“It is going to be exciting! It is going to be something that has been a long time coming for me. I hope I can take a few minutes to suck it all in because you only get to do it for the first time once. I am looking forward to it.”
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