Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Haro's Skills Injected Life into Clifton

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Haro's Skills Injected Life into Clifton

Article excerpt

Former Clifton High and UNLV running back Joe Haro is so grateful to all who helped him reach great heights that he's determined to make a similar impact on young people.

From his home in Las Vegas, Haro listed those to whom he feels most indebted: his parents, wife, teachers, college coaches, high school football coach Jim Kelly, track coaches John Pontes and Lou Fraulo, and current Clifton principal Tony Orlando, his lacrosse coach.

"I'm fortunate they were all there for me," he said.

In his quest to reciprocate, Haro serves on the board of the Las Vegas Business Academy.

"We're looking for the next leaders of Las Vegas," he said. "It's a non-profit group that offers graduate programs in hotel, law and business. We pay for the program. The only requirement is that each of the students stays five years in Las Vegas. The people here were good to me and I want to give back to the community."

Haro, 34, became a memorable figure in Clifton with the 1997 team that pulled the football program out of the doldrums. He ran for 1,455 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior year on the way to All- State recognition.

At cornerback, he made 55 tackles and intercepted six passes as the Mustangs qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

"We most definitely were determined to turn around a once- prestigious program that had not been doing too well," said Haro, who also was the Passaic County 400-meter champion in track.

Recruited by UNLV as a running back, he instead saw time on defense and special teams before suffering a broken leg. When he returned to action, Haro was asked by head coach John Robinson if he was interested in carrying the ball. He was and he proved ready.

On opening day 2001 against Arkansas in his junior year, the dynamic 5-foot-9 Haro was inserted into the lineup in the second half and carried 24 times for 131 yards to earn the full-time position. …

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