COLUMBIA, S.C. -- James Harkey, the architect of the South Carolina 2019 MCLA National Championship squad, has announced that he is leaving the program, effective immediately.
He recently penned a farewell to the program.
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With a heavy heart, I would like to announce that I am leaving the Gamecock men’s lacrosse team.
It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to help lead this spectacular group of young men for the last eight years since Addy Rathe, Patrick ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald and Brent Nilsen brought me on as an assistant coach in 2014.
A special thank you to then team President Colin Byrne who gave me an opportunity to be head coach.
I want to take a minute to highlight some of the great accomplishments that I’ve had the privilege of being associated with -- accomplishments that have only come through the hard work of the athletes in this program.
Since 2015, the Gamecocks boast a 75-18 overall record, with a 28-2 mark at home while going undefeated in Columbia since 2017. The 2018 team burst on to the national scene, going undefeated through the regular season, rising from unranked in the preseason to as high as No. 3 in the national polls, finishing the year No. 4 after falling in the MCLA semifinals.
The 2019 squad proved one-hit-wonder-doubters wrong by earning crowns in both the conference and national tournaments -- the first MCLA D1 national champions representing the east coast.
I am confident that both the 2020 and 2021 teams would have added more hardware to the trophy case had those opportunities not been taken away by the pandemic. Accolades and achievements aside, the culture that we have built together brings me the greatest satisfaction.
I am incredibly proud of every one of the young men that I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring during my time in this role. The relationships with our amazing student-athletes and their families have made this experience phenomenal.
While my family is relocating away from South Carolina at this stage of our journey, a part of our hearts will always remain in Columbia and we hope our path brings us back in the future.
Go Gamecocks, Forever to Thee!