By Paul Adkins
July 23, 2013
MAN – With the end of the Bowl Championship Series in 2014, college football will begin a new phase in its history of choosing the national champion.
Under the new College Football Playoff system, which will be in place for the 2014-15 season, a four-team playoff will begin with two national semifinal games, with the winners playing in the first ever national championship game, set to be played at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Jan. 12, 2015.
Unlike the much criticized BCS, the new system will not factor in computer rankings to select its participants. Instead, a committee of 14 to 20 members will be used to select the four semifinal teams.
This fall, we say goodbye to the never popular BCS.
One local man was part of the BCS history in college football.
That man is Chris Harvey.
Harvey, a 1999 Man High School graduate, played with the Miami Hurricanes in all four of the BCS bowls from 2000-03 – the Sugar, the Rose, the Fiesta and the Orange.
Not a whole lot of college football players can claim that.
He played in all four BCS bowls in four years.
Harvey, a first-year defensive coordinator at Division II Fairmont State University, will be on hand this Friday night as the special guest speaker at the Billies of the Future Camp at Man High School’s George A. Queen Memorial Stadium.
The three-day camp begins on Wednesday and will run between 5-8 p.m. each day. Man High School coaches, players and former players and staff will be on hand for the camp which is for area youth up to the eighth grade.
The cost of the camp is $25 for individuals and discounts for multiple family members. Registration starts at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Free T-shirts are limited to the first 100 campers.
After graduating from Man, Harvey went to Miami as a walk-on in 1999 and was redshirted the first year.
Then in 2000, Harvey, a redshirt freshman walk-on player, earned the starting longsnapping job for the Hurricanes and head coach Butch Davis. Miami went to WVU and routed the Mountaineers and Harvey, the only member of the team from West Virginia on the Canes’ roster, was given the game ball.
At the end of the 2000 season, Miami went to New Orleans on Jan. 2, 2001 and the Canes won 37-20 in the BCS Sugar Bowl.
The next season in 2001, Harvey was lost due to a knee injury in the game against rival Florida State. Miami, led by new coach Larry Coker, went on to defeat Nebraska 37-14 in the Rose Bowl in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 3, 2002 in Pasadena, Calif. Harvey did not play in the game but dressed and was on the sideline.
In the following 2002 season, Miami looked to repeat as national champions but were foiled by Ohio State, 31-24 in double overtime in the controversial Fiesta Bowl BCS National Championship Game. It appeared as if Miami had won the game late but were flagged for a pass interference penalty in the end zone, giving the Buckeyes new life. Harvey was Miami’s deep snapper during the game.
Harvey went on to play one more season with the Canes in 2003 as a senior. The campaign ended on Jan. 1, 2004 as hometown Miami won 16-14 over Coach Bobby Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.
Harvey would later join Coach Bowden’s Florida State staff in the latter part of the 2000s as the team’s strength and conditioning coach before the legendary mentor retired.
Over the years, Harvey has coached in many places.
He had returned briefly to his alma mater Man High School, as an assistant coach under Harvey Arms and was also the head baseball coach at Man.
Harvey has also been an assistant coach at the WVIAC’s Glenville State.
He comes to Fairmont State for the first time this fall and joins new head coach Jason Woodman’s staff. Woodman is also a former Florida State assistant coach under Bowden. Harvey will be the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator.
Harvey comes to Fairmont State after serving as an assistant coach on the offensive line in 2012 as an assistant coach on the offensive line and the director of strength and conditioning for all sports at Walton High School in Florida.
Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach at Division II power North Alabama, helping lead the Lions to the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
Harvey also has experience at the NCAA Division I level after spending three seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach as well as special teams quality control and defensive line coach at Florida State. During his time with the Seminoles, Florida State was among the best in the ACC in all special teams categories.
Harvey coached several prominent players, including Lou Groza Award winner Graham Gano and finalist Dustin Hopkins, and defensive lineman Everette Brown, who was a second round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers. He also helped coach punt returner Greg Reid who led the ACC with 18.4 yards per punt return and was first team freshman All-America and third team All-America punt returner.
While at Miami his freshman year, Harvey was the winner of the school’s Albert Bentley Award as the team’s walk-on MVP.
Harvey and his wife, Lavana, have two daughters – Brianna and Bailey.