Former Penn State men’s basketball coach Dick Harter passed away on Monday from cancer at the age of 81.
Harter coached the Nittany Lions for five seasons, from 1979-83, and while at Penn State, Harter compiled a 79-61 record and appeared in the 1980 NIT.
In addition to coaching at Penn State, Harter coached collegiately at Rider, Oregon and Penn and in 18 years of college coaching he finished with a 295-196 record.
After leaving Penn State, Harter, a Pottstown, Pa. native, went on to have many coaching stops in the NBA.
Harter got his start in the NBA as an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons, and he also was an assistant for the Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.
When the Charlotte Hornets became an expansion franchise in the NBA in 1998, the team’s front office chose Harter to be its inaugural head coach. But Harter struggled in two and a half seasons at the helm in Charlotte, with the Hornets winning just 23 percent of their games and went back to being an assistant coach in the NBA after leaving Charlotte.
Harter was also a U.S. Marine Corps. Lieutenant and he is in the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame, University of Oregon’s Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania (Pottstown Chapter) Hall of Fame.