Southeast High's John Harder named Coach of the Year

jlembo@bradenton.comMarch 28, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Chalk up another honor for John Harder.

Southeast High School's venerable girls basketball coach has been named the Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year. He steered the Seminoles to the Class 5A state championship last month at The Lakeland Center.

The voting was tight. Harder, who became a finalist after earning coach of the year honors in Class 5A, garnered 130 points to eclipse Wekivia's Tommy Butts, who had 122.

Candidates received 10 points for each first-place vote, nine points for second and so on. Only 29 points separated the top five finishers. Judges were high school coaches and media panelists from across the state.

Harder just wrapped up his 30th year at Southeast, where he has led the Seminoles to 718 wins and three of the program's four state championships.

He is also a member of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.

Southeast went 30-1 this year and beat Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee 52-35 in the Class 5A state final.

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