By Daniel Whitehead
BUENA VISTA, Va.—As Southern Virginia University Athletics gears up for the 2013-14 season we are taking a look back at the top five contests from last year.
It is an exciting time for Southern Virginia as the Knights prepare for their first season of competition in the Capital Athletic Conference and second year as provisional NCAA Division III members.
Each week leading up to fall competition, we will highlight one significant game from this past season to build excitement for another successful campaign for the Knights.
No. 3—Harmon Named First Pioneer Coach at Southern Virginia
Jan. 9, 2013—Earning his 388th career win with a 52-49 victory over The Apprentice School in the home opener, Southern Virginia University women's basketball coach Michael Harmon was honored with the school's first Pioneer Award.
Created in 2012 to recognize the first administrators, coaches and scholar-athletes to pave the way for others, Harmon was given the honor by way of earning the significant amount of victories between his women's basketball and volleyball programs. The win over the Shipbuilders was Harmon's 183rd in women's basketball with 205 victories achieved with the women's volleyball program. He is the all-time winningest coach in Southern Virginia history.
Senior Amaris Newkirk (Folsom, N.M.) led the way for the Knights with 19 points and nine rebounds. Ann Kuroki (Hershey, Neb.) recorded eight points, eight rebounds and four assists in the victory, while Crystal Cleveland (Delran, N.J.) achieved her fourth double-double of the season by scoring 13 points and grabbing 16 boards.
"There was a lot of anticipation for the rivalry game against Apprentice," Harmon said. "They are tough any time but this was different. We were down to seven players due to mission calls, injuries, and such.
"It was a great game and the will to perform and execute that was shown by our team lifted them to a three-point win."
In addition to Harmon being recognized, the university honored former Knight Liz Lindsey-Weber (1998-2002) with the school's first Pioneer Athlete award.
"It was a very emotional night for us as it is always great to see and talk with Liz and her family," Harmon said. "Liz is one of the greatest players to ever play at Southern Virginia, male or female, so I was excited for her.
"After pictures and hugs with Liz, I was ready for the game to start but was taken by complete surprise to be honored as the first Pioneer Coach. It is an honor that I will always cherish."
Harmon arrived in Buena Vista in 1998 as the school's first head women's volleyball coach and assistant women's basketball coach. The following season, Harmon became head women's basketball coach and guided the program to its first ever NSCAA national championship during the 1999-2000 season.
Throughout his 14-year tenure as head women's basketball coach, Harmon has led Southern Virginia to three national titles (2000, 2002, 2006), while on the volleyball side he earned two national titles in 2000 and 2002.
Over the past 15 years, Harmon has coached 42 USCAA All-Americans (19 basketball and 23 volleyball) and 24 Academic All-Americans (16 basketball and 8 volleyball).