COACH PAUL HARVEY retired this year after three decades at Kingswood.
Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
June 26, 2017WOLFEBORO — Paul Harvey has done a little of just about everything during his life.
From working with nuclear waste on a test site in the South Pacific, to running a landscaping business to working retail at a lumber company, Harvey's life has featured a wide variety of vocations, but none have lasted as long as his coaching tenure at Kingswood Regional High School.
The longtime Knight coach, who retired after this past school year, has been at Kingswood since 1988, a career spanning almost three decades, where he has touched thousands of lives.
And this varied career has led Harvey to push kids to try different things throughout his coaching career.
"I've done a few things," Harvey said with a laugh. "That's why I encourage kids to get out there and try things."
Harvey worked in the South Pacific where nuclear tests took place, went out in boats and put in buoys that would scan the ocean floor to see how coral was affected by nuclear waste. He also served as a chef for scientists and had a chance to swim with sharks. He ran a landscape business in Massachusetts, worked retail for a company in the Lakes Region, among other things.
"That's all part of who I am," Harvey said. "That's why I like adventure, you never know what's going to happen."
After running his landscape business in Massachusetts, Harvey and his wife, Pam, decided they were tired of living so close to their neighbors.
"We decided we'd like a little more space," Harvey said.
So, they bought some land from an uncle, came north, cleared the lot and built the house where they still live in Ossipee.
Harvey went to work with a lumber company but when the company moved south, he decided he didn't want to make that drive every day.
"And after working in retail, I decided I didn't want that, working every holiday and weekend," Harvey said.
He had been helping out the Kingswood boys' soccer coach and was able to get a job with Kingswood's food service department, putting his skills as a chef to work. He moved on to a custodial position and had to give up coaching for a year because of the hours, But a daytime position opened up and in the early 1990s, Harvey moved into that position and resumed coaching.
From the custodial staff, he made his way to plant operations, where he's been ever since. That job entails the maintenance of equipment and pretty much most anything that needs to be done.
"Basically anything that needs to be done," Harvey said.
And in the process of all the job changes, he and Pam found a home.
"This is the longest I've ever spent in one place," Harvey said. "It's like I found a home. I love working with the kids and coaching.
"My biggest thrill is to pass on to somebody the skills or desire to reach out for success," Harvey continued. "I've seen a lot of kids come through and we have a lot of great kids out there doing amazing things."
His most recent coaching experience comes in track (both indoor and outdoor) and cross country and he said those sports are things that can be taken with the kids forever.
"You can compete your whole life in both sports, which is really nice," Harvey said. "My reward is watching the kids have success and grow into great young men and women."
Over the years, in addition to his time as track and cross country coach, he also coached girls' and boys' soccer, both at the JV and varsity level and also coached girls' basketball.
And in all sports, there are always kids who stand out to him.
"I have a soft spot for the ones that may not have the most athletic ability but the ones that put in incredible effort," Harvey said. "They have to put the extra time in and I respect that.
"I know what it's like to work into a position," Harvey added.
The veteran coach has run seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon on three occasions and has learned a lot during his time.
"You have to adjust to the athletes you have," Harvey said. "And then let's figure out how we can be most successful with what we have.
"It can go from super-challenging to super-fun," the veteran coach said.
He also pointed out that he had great support from the administration over the years, which made his job easier.
"I've met some amazing kids and worked with some great administrators," Harvey said. "That's what keeps you in a place, it doesn't feel like a job, I love being here.
"People talk to you, not at you," he continued. "That makes a big difference, you look forward to coming to work."
And he also praised his fellow coaches, both at Kingswood and other schools.
"Some of the people you meet through coaching are just incredible people," Harvey said, specifically referencing Bernie and Eileen Livingston at Kennett. "They always put the kids first."
Harvey also had praise for his wife. He and Pam have been married for more than 30 years and she is also retiring from her position at the school as a special education secretary. She has also been a fixture on the track and cross country sidelines with her husband for years.
"A lot of the stuff I've done is because she's so flexible," Harvey said. "I've talked her into lots of stuff and she's up for any adventure."
The next adventure will be a big one for the Harveys. The couple is selling everything they own, including the house. They bought a fifth-wheel trailer and a truck to pull it.
"You've got to be willing to take risks," Harvey said. "I sort of follow my own way. Going on the road, it's a whole other thing."
Harvey said he plans to visit his daughter and six-year-old grandson out in Idaho as one of his first orders of business.
"I can start a new relationship with my grandson," Harvey said. "He's a lot like me.
"That's when you figure out what life's all about," he continued. "It's all about the little extra things, not the 9 to 5 going to work.
"And I hope to do some crazy stuff," he said with a smile.
Harvey said he's sad to be leaving the kids he's worked with over the years, but said he couldn't be more excited about what's on the horizon.
"There's so much out there and so much life left," Harvey said. "Let's see what we can do."
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or email@example.com.