ATLANTA – Bill Harkins, long-time head coach at Florida State University, died on Feb. 18 peacefully at his home in Palm Coast, Fla., at the age of 69.
Harkins built a power in Tallahassee, guiding the Seminoles to seven trips to the MCLA National Championships.
With Harkins at the helm, Florida State became the first SELC team to advance to the national semifinals in 2005. The ninth-seeded Seminoles defeated No. 8 UC San Diego in the first round before shocking top-seeded BYU in the quarterfinals.
He will be forever memorialized at Florida State as the Seminoles play their on-campus games on Bill Harkins Field. Harkins made a significant contribution to the school to make the facility a reality for the FSU program.
“Coach Harkins was one of those coaches who helped advance the MCLA by making his team into a national power,” said Ken Lovic, MCLA president. “He loved lacrosse and was a true gentleman of the sport.”
A native of Huntington, N.Y., Harkins played prep lacrosse at Walt Whitman High School and matriculated at the University of Maryland. He eventually transferred to and graduated from NYIT.
Genuine coach who had positive impact on players & league. Loved his energy and the tempo with which his teams played. “Yellow” was blasphemous on those @FSULacrosse teams. You will be missed coach! https://t.co/8HrJORToqE
— Coach Panchito Ojeda (@fmojeda) February 21, 2019
Rest in piece to Bill Harkins, an MCLA and state of Florida lacrosse legend. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of so much fierce lacrosse competition on the field that bears his name in Tallahassee. @MCLA https://t.co/KXNo4mT8mq
— Garrett Hanrahan (@ghanrahan6) February 21, 2019
Saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Harkins. As passionate, generous, and impactful as anyone I've known in lacrosse. https://t.co/aaarS5XW3W
— John Paul (@JohnPaulPLL) February 21, 2019
I am saddened to get the news coach Harkins has passed. I was honored to have gotten to know him and to gain the friendship and respect to try to fill his shoes for a game at nationals. He will be missed by the @FSULacrosse and @MCLA communities. pic.twitter.com/FnOXDvRmAP
— Ken Lovic (@kenlovic) February 21, 2019
A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Palm Coast Community Center. In lieu of flowers the family requests that any donations be made to the Diabetes Institute Research Foundation.