HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Vance Harmon is a basketball legend in Richmond. When he graduated from Douglas Freeman, Harmon was the county’s all-time leading scorer with over 1,600 points. As the Head Boys’ basketball coach at Henrico, he won over 350 games and two State Championships in a three year span.
So when the opportunity came to be the Athletic Director at his alma mater, it was one he couldn’t pass up.
“If it wasn’t the ideal next step and the kind of evolution of my career, my professional career, I wouldn’t have even entertained it,” Harmon stated. “But the fact of having the chance to go home, where you grew up as a young man, there was one play that could offer that and that was Douglas Freeman.”
Harmon stepped down as Head Coach at Henrico last week after 18 seasons to become the AD at Douglas Freeman. The decision to leave a place where he spent nearly two decades wasn’t an easy one, even if it meant an end to his coaching career for a return to his former school.
“There was a whole lot of nights of sleepless anxiety going on,” Harmon explained. “Not because of any worries of the Freeman opportunity but more so the fact that I’m leaving a place I absolutely adore.”
Harmon didn’t coach basketball this past season as all of Henrico County didn’t participate in winter sports. The time away from the court allowed him to spend more time with his family and think about his future, which included a possible career change.
“The pandemic didn’t really play in the part of not having a season other than seeing that life does for everybody kind of have some end point,” Harmon expressed. “And you better start preparing before you have to get to that point of setting in.”
Harmon will now focus his attention on Douglas Freeman athletics, who has a three sport athlete that shares his last name.
“My oldest Virginia Anne is a 9th grade at Freeman and just so happens she’s a student-athlete too,” Harmon explained. “She’s a Cross-Country, Basketball and Lacrosse player. I think my daughters are probably the most enthusiastic about the situation. Their reaction was does this mean we do more stuff now that we’re gonna be at Freeman together and I said absolutely.”