Tom Harbert hasn't coached wrestling in more than 20 years, but hasn't been forgotten by the wrestling community.
Harbert, a graduate of Wilkinsburg High School and Shippensburg University, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in a ceremony conducted Sunday at the State College Ramada Inn.
"It was a great way to kick off my 50th year of coaching," said Harbert, who currently serves as head coach of the women's cross country team at Saint Vincent College. "When we begin the cross country season in September, it will be my 50th year of coaching."
Harbert's wrestling career began at Wilkinsburg High School, where he won a section title.
"My high school coach, John Ellwood, was the biggest influence on my athletic and coaching careers," Harbert said. "He influenced my life tremendously. And I still keep in touch with him. He's now living in Arizona."
Harbert then wrestled for coach Bill Corman at Shippensburg University.
"I was a four-year letter-winner," Harbert said. "I won a PSAC title my senior year."
Harbert's coaching career began immediately after graduating from Shippensburg.
"I was hired as head wrestling coach at Saint Vincent College," said Harbert, who was one of the youngest coaches in college wrestling history. "After eight seasons at Saint Vincent, I was recruited to take over for Creed Westfall at Latrobe High School."
Harbert coached 20 years at Latrobe and compiled a 202-87-5 record. He coached 49 section champions, 7 WPIAL champs, 17 PIAA qualifiers and 10 PIAA place-winners.
"We had 100 kids try out for the team my first year," Harbert said. "We had six kids advance to the section finals and all six won titles. What a way to start my career at Latrobe."
Harbert is the second of only four coaches in Latrobe history and the third to be inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
"I don't know of any high school in the state of Pennsylvania that has its first three coaches in the [PWCA] Hall of Fame," Harbert said. "Creed Westfall was one of the first inductees, and Marc Billett [Harbert's successor] was inducted in 2012."
Fittingly, Latrobe's newest head coach is Harbert's son Tad.
"Tad has a tough act to follow," Harbert noted. "It would be great if he could join us in the future."
Harbert has had an even longer coaching career at Saint Vincent. He recently completed his 46th year of coaching at Saint Vincent.
"I'm currently coaching the women's cross country team, but I've also coached the men's team," said Harbert, who is the only women's cross country coach in school history. "I also coached the women's and men's lacrosse teams at Saint Vincent. I'm sort of the George Plimpton of coaching."
Harbert was also a member of the track team at Wilkinsburg and Shippensburg. He continued to run competitively following graduation from college, participating in four marathons, and collected a third-place finish in one held at Cabos San Lucas in Mexico.
"[Sunday's induction ceremonies] was a great weekend," said Harbert. "I got to see so many coaches and former wrestlers that I haven't seen in a while. And most of my family was there, including my grandkids. That meant a lot to me."
It was the sixth hall of fame ceremony for Harbert. He's also been inducted into the: Saint Vincent College Hall of Fame, Southwestern Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame, Tri-Boro Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Shippensburg University Hall of Fame.
Harbert is still very active. He's the director of the upcoming Nike Girls Lacrosse Camp. He's also serving as a volunteer wrestling coach at Ligonier Valley.
"My son Brent is the youth coach at Ligonier Valley, so I'm helping to coach my grandsons whenever I have some extra time in my schedule."