About Your Coach



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John Harves (här-vəs) grew up in Arlington, Virginia, where he played organized soccer for the first time it was available to him at Yorktown High School in 1967.  He subsequently founded a member club of the Arlington Soccer Association (ASA) when he began coaching youth soccer in 1969.  His first youth team was composed of both boys and girls ranging in age from 6- to 15-years old.  He graduated from Yorktown in 1970 and went on to Virginia Tech, where he played for four years, graduating in 1974 with a degree in Science Education (Chemistry, Biology).  At Virginia Tech, he was the student-athlete who led the initiative to get soccer changed from club to varsity status. He was then the Men’s Varsity Soccer Assistant Coach at Tech for the fall of 1974.

John C. Harves

During the summers and for three years after graduation, Coach Harves managed and played for the Arlington Americans open team and helped found the Capital Soccer League of Washington, DC.  In addition, he officiated for the Metropolitan Washington Soccer Referees Association and earned a United States Soccer Federation national coaching license.  During this same time period, Coach Harves founded and directed both the Arlington Soccer Association’s youth referee program and their youth coaching instructional school.  He is an inductee of the Arlington Soccer Hall of Fame.

John Harves was appointed the Radford University, Virginia, Men’s Varsity Soccer Coach in 1977.  He won his opening game that year after only six days with the team.  The team finished the 1977 season with Radford’s first winning record at 8-7.  In 1978, Coach Harves lead Radford to a 10-3-3 record, at one point going 13 straight games without a loss.  In 1979, the team finished the season at 11-6-1 and enjoyed Radford’s first-ever post-season play.  Coach Harves ended his three-year career at Radford University with a record of 29-16-4.  In 1979, he was also President of the Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Association (VISA).  After Radford, Coach Harves returned to the Washington area and resumed playing for and managing the Arlington Americans.

Coach Harves moved to Olney, Maryland, in 1986.  He returned to coaching youth soccer in 1988 with the Olney Boys and Girls Club (OBGC) and subsequently with the St. Peter’s Athletic Association and Montgomery Soccer Incorporated (MSI).  Since 2005, Coach Harves has been presenting the information and experiences from his soccer career on his website, CoachingAmericanSoccer.com® and in his first book, “The Ultimate SOCCER DICTIONARY of American Terms” available at Amazon.com.

In 2009, Coach Harves was honored by his former college players with the establishment of the John Harves Men’s Soccer Fund at Radford University.  Coach Harves is a member of United Soccer Coaches organization and has published articles in their Soccer Journal.

During the course of his coaching career, John Harves has been responsible for the introduction of a number of new terms to the soccer lexicon.  These include “Assistant Referees’ Lanes,” “The Avoidance Move,” “Containment,” “Effective Range of Defenders,” “Shoulders” (of the field), “Take-out Clear,” and others.  In addition, Coach Harves was the first to codify “The 19 Surfaces of the Soccer Shoe™” which presented the first use of the term “Instep-Face.” Further, he codified the “Special Segments” of a game, and “The Unwritten Rules of Soccer.”

In his professional career, John Harves first taught high school chemistry at James W. Robinson. Jr. Secondary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, and then was successively a management intern, program analyst, financial analyst, and IT program support staff director at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, encompassing 33 years.  He attained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Virginia Tech in 1983.

© Copyright, John C. Harves