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Coach Tim Haak - A Whole New Level
When Tim Haak became Harvard’s 5th head coach, he knew that he wanted to carry one great wrestling tradition. But, that wasn’t enough. He wanted to take the program to the next level. 
Coach Haak started as the head coach at the junior high and then came to the high school to assist Coach Holtfreter. He became the head coach in the fall of 1987. After a second place finish by the Hornets the past year he knew it would be a tough act to follow. Not being the type to shy away from a challenge, he led the team back to the finals and a second place finish in his first season!

Tim continued to build the program around the TEAM concept: Together – Everyone – Achieves – More. His first priority has always been to build a solid lineup from bottom to top. He has always taught that the greater success of the team brings greater individual success for more athletes. Every one of his wrestlers knows that “TEAM” comes first. Tim believes there are no short cuts. About Harvard Wrestling he says, “We believe in a great work ethic. I was raised that way by my grandparents. I believe you don’t have to be a great athlete to have success in wrestling if you have a great work ethic.”

Coach Haak has displayed that work ethic by being a student of the sport himself, attending clinics and conducting camps to help his wrestlers develop to their fullest potential. He has always insisted upon his wrestlers to “do the little things” to realize their full potential. This philosophy is not limited to wrestling technique alone but to academics, good behavior in and out of the classroom, proper diet, and in general, living a lifestyle that will carry you through the physical and mental demands of the sport. He would not accept any less from himself.

During his tenure he developed a summer camp and invited guest clinicians to present. He expanded our youth wrestling program to build for the future. An annual team poster was developed to recognize the wrestlers dedication and as an incentive to future Hornets. He helped to start a spring tournament through our growing wrestling club to raise funds and to give our wrestlers more opportunities to improve.

He has served on the IWCOA Board of Directors and the IHSA Wrestling Advisory Committee. Tim was inducted into the IWCOA Hall of Fame in 2001 and was honored as a Grand Marshall for the 2013 IHSA State Championships.  The response to these expectations from his athletes was dramatic and it shows in the success of the program. In the past 27 years through his leadership, Harvard has won the Regional championship 26 times. Coach Haak’s teams have qualified to the State Dual Team Championship 12 times, highlighted by a State Championship in 1992, a second place finish in 1988 & 1990, and a third place finish in 2000. The TEAM has won 636 dual meets through his guidance. With the greater success of the team more individual success has followed. Tim has coached 102 individual state qualifiers including 39 place winners.

Among the greatest thrills of his career was coaching his son Shane. Of all his accomplishments as a coach the greatest may be that he has instilled in his athletes the desire to give back to the sport. Over 50 of his former athletes have gone on to be coaches and officials themselves, carrying on the tradition of Harvard Wrestling. 

Coach Haak retired as Harvard's Head Coach after the 2014 season.


1992 IHSA State Championship Team


Coach Tim Haak flanked by his High School Coach, Jim Patton and all of Haaks former wrestlers who have gone on to Coach and Officiate.  Picture was taken at the Woodstock North vs. Harvard Dual in 2013.  It was against Tim's son, Shane, who is now the Head Coach at Woodstock North.
(Pictured Left to Right: Tim Creighton (Wrestler of Jim Patton), Ryan Sciame, Shane Haak, Neil Schultz, Junior Reyes, Mike Clarke, Mike Vest, Robert Homola, Tim Haak, Matt Streit, Jim Patton, Todd Streit, David Abel)