Athletic Hall of Fame

Jim Harkema

Jim Harkema

Sport(s): Football

Induction Class: 1999

Enjoyed a successful 10-year career as Eastern Michigan University head football coach (1983-94)...Took over an EMU football program that had won just two games in three previous years and developed the program into one of the best in the Mid-American Conference, resulting in the best MAC won-lost record from 1986-89...Turned the team into a championship contender with his 1987 football squad reaching the top of the Mid-American Conference, capturing the first-ever league title and leading the team to a 30-27 upset win over a highly favored San Jose State University team in the California Bowl...That '87 squad notched the most wins in school history with a 10-2 record and he was named MAC Coach of the Year for his efforts...Directed the 1988 and 1989 teams to runner-up spots in the final MAC standings...He also enjoyed an outstanding 10-year career as head football coach at Grand Valley State University where he posted a 68-29-1 record...Selected into the Grand Valley State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988 and he was in the inaugural class inducted into the Kalamazoo College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986 where he was also recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1992...Jim and his wife, Merrell, live in Ann Arbor and cherish their close relationships with their three daughters and their families: Susan Harkema, husband Van Gunter, and grandson, Jordan; Julie Harkema, husband, Tommy York, and grandsons, Lincoln and Aedan; and Sallie Harkema, husband, Mark Cesarz, and grandson, Jake.

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