Terry Harvey Was One of State's Best Two-Sport Stars
Feb. 16, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. -
When NC State gave Terry Harvey a football scholarship in 1991, the Wolfpack got more than a talented quarterback.
It also landed a premier pitcher, and ultimately, one of the most productive two-sport stars in State's athletic lore.
Harvey -- who will be enshrined tonight in State's Baseball Hall of Fame with Tracy Woodson, Jake Weber and former Associate AD, Frank Weedon -- set school records passing on the football field and pitching on the diamond.
At 6-1, 200 pounds, Harvey was an anomaly in an era when a majority of college athletes specialized in one sport, just as they do today.
Along with earning a degree, he left State holding records for most career baseball wins (35), strike outs (386) and innings pitched (425.1). He earned third-team All-America recognition, and also a spot on the ACC's 50-player 50th Anniversary squad.
And that's only half the story.
In football Harvey still ranks fourth in career passing yardage (5,925), touchdowns (38) and passing efficiency despite throwing several hundred fewer times than those ahead of him. He also shares the single-game record for most TD tosses -- 5 against Wake Forest - while playing little over a half.
"It was a personal challenge,'' Harvey said of tackling two sports. "It gave me a little extra incentive, doing something that wasn't the norm. It also kept me fresh. Playing one sport would have been awfully boring."
Growing up in Dacula, Ga., then a small town near Atlanta, he was accustomed to switching uniforms when the "leaves changed" colors. Today, Dad Harvey is exposing his three young boys, which he helps coach, to a variety of sports as well.
Early on, Harvey embraced pitching and quarterbacking and didn't wilt under the pressure that goes with those high-profile positions. You know the drill. Win and get praised. Lose and get blamed. Or as he put it, be a "hero or goat."
"It's a roller coaster of emotions; it's not for everybody; you must have a short memory," said Harvey, now 40 years old, living in Cary and working as business development manager with Ceva Logistics.
Harvey and his wife, Catherine, also are partners in Mortgage and Title Insurance companies, teaming up with former Wolfpack basketball star and long-time friend Chris Corchiani.
BACK ON THE FIELD
Much can be written about Harvey's right arm, about the way he spiraled passes into receivers' hands, about the way he baffled batters with a fastball, slider, and change up.
But there was more to his repertoire. He had a winner's mentality, a leader's confidence, a tiger's tenacity and a touch of levity that kept teammates relaxed when tension mounted.
"I loved having Terry, not only as a pitcher,'' said Ray Tanner, former State coach now at South Carolina. "The persona, the mindset he brought to the team was a tremendous addition.
"He had a great demeanor, was a great competitor, results oriented. He was tremendously talented, but you have to have those intangibles to be successful and he possessed them in both sports."
While it's challenging to juggle the demands of school and one sport, much less two, former Pack football coaches Dick Sheridan and Mike O'Cain allowed Harvey to focus intently on baseball in the spring.
Drafted out of high school -- and then three more times while at State -- Harvey poured his heart, head and arm into each season.
He beat Wake Forest with a one-hitter in his first pitching start. But his mound masterpiece came in 1993 on a no-hitter against Florida State, a traditional powerhouse that knocked the cover off baseballs.
"It was a cool day, mid 50s,'' recalled Harvey, who never wore sleeves. "I had a very live fast ball, location, and pop on the ball. Some days you feel good."
On that day at Doak Field, he wound up feeling great.
The Pack ace had a chance to watch his pitching gem, thanks to thoughtful FSU coach Mike Martin, who mailed a game tape to Harvey's parents in Georgia.
There were other memorable moments. Like the time he beat Cuba's National Team in Cuba, a rare feat then, while playing for a USA National squad.
"He was one of the top college pitchers in the country,'' Tanner said, recalling Harvey's Cuban conquest.
At State Harvey posted 10-win seasons twice and finished with a 35-12 career ledger. After that he carved a 13-8 mark in a four-year minor league stint that was short-circuited by rotator cuff and labarum surgery.
"I lost a lot of velocity, never could get it back," said Harvey, who gracefully exited the game. "It was time to move away. I've never looked back."
PASSING THE TEST
In football Harvey just tweaked his grip -- which was different than throwing a baseball -- and got good results.
Laid back off the field, he burned with an inner fire on the field and had a little Eli Manning in him - calm, confident and with a knack for making comebacks.
In a 1991 game against Duke, Harvey -- then a freshman -- was thrown into the game with State trailing by 10 points and about three minutes left.
"I only knew eight plays,'' he said, yet adroitly orchestrated a two-minute offense, guided the Pack to two TDs, and a one-point win.
After redshirting as a sophomore, Harvey earned a permanent starting job with a scintillating performance against Texas Tech in 1993. Coming off the bench, he threw four touchdown passes -- including the game-winning toss to Eddie Goines as time expired.
For a sequel in 1994, he helped the Pack achieve a 9-3 record that ended with a Peach Bowl victory.
But life wasn't all touchdowns and triumphs, high fives and chest bumps. Ironically, his best individual season and the team's worse came his last year.
Harvey passed for 2,099 yards and captured several honors: Team MVP; the school's Integrity and Sportsmanship Award; and the H.T. Kennett plague as State's Top Male Athlete.
The downer was that dismal 3-8 record, which Harvey calls "very disappointing." But not one to trample amid the dark defeats of yesterday, he tends to focus on fond memories and keep moving forward.
These days his activities include working, playing golf, worshipping at Cary's First Baptist Church with his family, and helping coach his boys youth teams.
And now, added to his agenda, is tonight's Hall of Fame induction.
"It's very nice. It's an honor shared by many people,'' said a humble Harvey, grateful for the "many who had a hand" in a success journey at State and beyond.
By A.J. Carr