Remembering the life of our beloved throwing coach


Tatum Luoma and Sam Hicks

Richard Harrison was the junior varsity throws coach and an all around integral piece of the Ventura High School Track and Field team. A Ventura native, Harrison attended Buena High School and loved to tell the track team stories about how Ventura had changed as he grew up.

After both of his children attended Ventura High School and his son competed on the track team, Harrison fell deeply in love with the track and field program, investing countless hours into everything track related. Not only was he the handyman of the team, he coached the junior varsity throwers every single day. The entire team and coaching staff greatly admired Harrison’s immense dedication to the team — he only missed a couple of days of track practice in his eight year coaching career, even while battling cancer.

Harrison was the problem solver for the track team: Broken hurdle? Ask Harrison. Need warm ups? Ask Harrison. Can’t afford throwing shoes? Don’t worry, ask Harrison. The list goes on and on. Anything and everything that the track team needed, Harrison would do without any complaint, and oftentimes without recognition. He was by far one of the most selfless coaches that the school has ever seen. “For me, Harrison was much more than just a coach, he was like a grandpa. I love him and I miss him very much,” said varsity thrower senior Carlos Aviles.

One thing about Harrison that always seemed to stick out to the team was his small, beat up pick up truck. With that truck, Harrison carried every tool needed for the upkeep of the track, but more importantly, the athletes. Harrison always gave team members a ride whenever they needed it, but under one condition: you had to be able to bare the weird radio stations he played non-stop. His ability to put others time and needs before his own was an invaluable attribute of his that will be greatly missed. The kids on the track team were always most important to him, every single day. Coach Harrison will be deeply missed, but his spirit, mentality and selflessness will live on through the team and his family. We love you Harrison.