Harold Earl was born in Brooklyn in 1926. His father, a foreman for Bell telephone in Manhattan, moved the family to the rolling fields of Valley Stream when Harold was 7 and that began a lifetime of involvement in athletics that spanned 7 decades. He was the consummate coach, always looking to help a kid who held some promise, or who showed a particular passion for sports. He was a phenomenal baseball, soccer and football coach, and also coached swimming during summer breaks.
He entered the Long Island Wrestling scene coaching his alma mater in the early 50ís. Valley Stream Central became a dominant force in NY State wrestling for the next 25 years. Central snapped the record breaking winning streak of Mepham High School during those years coached by one of Earlís mentors, the legendary Sprig Gardner. College coaches from around the nation became anxious to recruit the well-coached Central wrestlers he produced.
Coach Earl was an athlete in his own right. He played football, wrestled and ran track at Valley Stream Central, and won two Long Island Championships in the early 40ís. After serving in the Marines in WW2 he attended Cortland State Teachers College on the GI Bill, studying Phys Ed. and making his mark on Cortlandís squad.
Harold Earl was an innovative and generous man. When he learned something new he loved to share it. He taught at every clinic that he could, and had a strong influence on a generation of Long Island wrestlers. He was marked by a depth of intensity, mixed with a sincere concern for the young men whose lives he affected so profoundly.
Perhaps the most satisfying achievement of his career was coaching his own two sons, Jim and Rich, to NY State titles in 1973 and 1974 at 112 lbs.. He was also proud to have inspired many of his wrestlers to become coaches themselves. Harold earl retired from coaching in 1981, but if you mention the name Harold Earl to active coaches on Long Island even today, youíll get a knowing response. The Earl legacy lives on.
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