Jerry Harwood left a lasting legacy with his dedication to coaching throwers at Oxnard High School. He was a volunteer coach for fifteen years until his passing in 2019. In the few short years since then, his legacy has continued with scholarships helping students to further their education.
His memory lives on in plaques placed on Bud Houser Field, Oxnard High’s track and football field, and on the fence at the throwing ring. He spent many hours there coaching and encouraging the student athletes to do their very best.
Beginning at age 65, he began competing in many Senior Olympic events for track and field. He continued through 2019 at age 80 to compete in senior athletic events, winning many medals and setting quite a few records.
Harwood worked closely with head coaches John Speed and Miguel Campos at Oxnard High. Encouraging students to excel in academics as well as athletics, they want to see their students take away from the athletic program education that influences their lives long after graduation. Maintaining a healthy body through exercise, good nutrition, and mental and emotional health are lifelong goals. Leading a healthy balanced emotional life enables students to handle disappointments, while continuing to strive to improve and reach goals long beyond their career in track at Oxnard High.
The Jerry Harwood Memorial Track Meet is held annually to kick off the season in February. Student athletes are able to have a trial of their times in competition with many other school track teams. The Memorial meet is also a fundraiser for the scholarship program. Medals which Harwood had won in competitions were awarded to participants the first two years. In 2022 Harwood medals were designed for the Memorial Track meet. Each year students and coaches look forward to this special event.
Jerry was born in Cleveland Ohio in 1939. In 1958 he graduated from North High in Eastlake Ohio where he was on a champion relay team. He joined the Navy to become a Submariner, and was discharged to Port Hueneme, CA. He made his home in Oxnard for many years.