Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High Schools Notebook; Bartram's Harman Gets 400th Victory

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High Schools Notebook; Bartram's Harman Gets 400th Victory

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

Every high school softball program in St. Johns County has gone through multiple head coaches since 2000, with one exception - Bartram Trail.

When the Bears beat First Coast 3-0 on Wednesday night, it marked the 400th victory in program history, all of them under coach Jen Harman. She's been at the program since Day 1, and it has been the area's top public school softball program just about since then, too.

Harman and the Bears have missed the state playoffs just once (2014), never come close to having a losing record and remain the only area public school to have won back-to-back fast-pitch state championships (2008-09).

"There was a huge celebration. Former players [came out], T-shirts and cake, they really made it a big thing," Harman said. "A lot of people reached out. The support is great. I loved every minute of it. This isn't my accomplishment. This is the kids, the parents of this community. They're a big part it. They're as much a part of it as I am."

Harman played at First Coast and then went on to play at UNF and has become one of the program's long-standing coaching success stories. One of her former Ospreys colleagues, Mandarin's Natalia Gonzalez, earned her 300th career win late last month and denied Harman and the Bears No. 400 on Tuesday night with a 6-4 victory.

"It was disappointing to not win [Tuesday] night, but it's pretty cool to do it," Harman said. "People knew about [win] No. 200, 300. People asked early on, 'How many do you need [for 400]?' But honestly, once the season got going, no one mentioned it again."

Something that is mentioned, she said, is from her dad, Louis. He's been Jen's assistant since 2006, and she didn't win her first state title until a couple seasons after he came on board.

"Oh, and he will let you know that, too," she joked.

Among local active softball coaches who have been in their positions the longest, only Clay's Matt Lewis (421-179 through Wednesday), who started in 1997, has won more games than Harman. …

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