AWC Men's Basketball Head Coach Charles Harral describes his legacy as he departs from the program - News 11's Rob Fram reports
YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - The Charles Harral coaching era with Arizona Western College Men's Basketball has come to an end, as he leaves the Matadors program to become an assistant coach at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.
Before his departure, News 11 Sports Director Rob Fram had a final conversation with the legendary coach about his legacy with AWC and the future of the program under new Head Coach Kyle Isaacs.
Below is the interview in it's entirety:
FRAM: "It's a bittersweet moment for yours truly, being at the House for the last time with now former AWC Head Men's Basketball Coach, Charles Harral. And man, you leave a tremendous legacy. Check this out, 10 years here in the program. He's led the Mats to eight appearances in the region one final, that's impressive in its own right. He's won the Region One championship four times. And the cherry on top, an NJCAA tournament appearance. With all that you've gotten done, did you accomplish everything you wanted to get done while you were here at AWC?"
HARRAL: "You know, you always want to win one more game or win the whole thing, the NJCAA tournament in Hutch. But I was you know really, really pleased with the success we've had here from the really good players we've had since I've been here to the really good staffs I've had. And then the support from the upper administration, my athletic director. The entire time I was here, Jerry Smith, it makes it nice. Anytime you have continuity in a program and to have him here, the whole time and supporting me was, was really important and then the upper administration here we've, we've had a couple different presidents in the time I've been here. But they were always supportive of our program and anytime you have staff under you, that supportive and staff above you, that supportive and good players, it doesn't really matter where you coach. You have a chance to be successful. And so that's why we're, we're able to do so many good things."
FRAM: "Okay, this next question actually is two questions I'm going to mesh into one. What clinched your decision to leave, and where are you going next? What's the next opportunity for you?"
HARRAL: "Well, my decision to leave was based on being able to work for somebody that I've really known in the profession for a long time and actually worked with when I was a student manager at Texas Tech. And then when I was a graduate assistant at UTEP. And we have really really remained close over the last 20 plus years, and he got a head coaching job, the first of April. And I always said, you know, if he were able to get a head job, he's somebody that I would want to work for. And so I'm going to Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas to work for Alvin Brooks, and he was a terrific player there. He's a terrific person, and I'm really really looking forward to going to Lamar and being part of their family, just like I've been a part of the AWC family for the last 11 years, so."
FRAM: "All right, well we got about a minute left and I think it's enough time to ask you a legacy question, because I like to throw that out there for any coach that's departing or any student athlete, or what have you. And what do you want that to be as a Matadors, as the matadors men's head basketball coach, what do you want your legacy to be?"
HARRAL: "Well, I want it to be that that we did it together. I don't think again it's it's about me, it's, it's about the program, the coaches before me, Coach Green, Coach Amik, Coach Babcock. They made it about the people around them, you know, and I just hope, and know that Kyle (Isaacs) and his staff will continue to work hard with the players, get support from the administration and and work with the community, because we're a team. AWC is a basketball team. But we're Yuma's team. And so I hope, you know, they continue that tradition."
FRAM: "All right, well, coach, thank you again for taking the time. We wish you the very best at Lamar, and folks we're losing a great asset in this community, knowing that this man right here is one of the more winningest coaches in Matadors history. Congratulations on your move and we're gonna miss you."
HARRAL: "Thanks Rob. I appreciate it very much."