A Williams Life

A Williams Life: Harry Sheehy

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Part 1: Harry Sheehy:
Becoming a Williams sports icon

In May 2021, podcast host Gordon Earle (’75) sat down with Harry Sheehy at his home in Williamstown to discuss Harry’s extraordinary life and career. Gordon was accompanied by his nephew Jon Earle (’09), an accomplished podcast producer.

Harry talks about his time in Williamstown as a child and young adult, often accompanied by his father, a devoted Williams alum ('51). He discusses the unprecedented success he enjoyed as a star Williams basketball player, professional athlete, Williams basketball coach and athletic director. During the final stages of the interview, Harry speaks on his decade as athletic director at Dartmouth, a position he retired from in early 2021, and his marriage to his Williams classmate Connie, who has been the love of his life for over 40 years.

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Part 2: Reflections on recovering from a life-threatening heart attack

 

In September 2021, Harry suffered a major heart attack, which resulted in bypass surgery. During the surgery, Harry had a stroke that resulted in his becoming almost completely blind. While Harry has been recovering nicely from the heart attack, his vision has not returned, except in an extremely limited way.

 

During the second interview, Harry reflects on his health and touches again on some of the major themes from the first interview, such as the power of faith and the meaning of resilience.

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Part 3: How Harry (almost) didn't get the Williams coaching job

 

Williams was the only college where Harry wanted to coach basketball. Fortuitously, in 1983 an opening occurred. After a lengthy interview process, Williams offered the position to a different coach—who, fortunately for Harry, turned it down for the head coaching job at Dartmouth, where Harry would later serve as athletic director. This short segment explores Harry’s intense disappointment at initially being rejected for the Williams coaching position, and his exhilaration when he finally received the offer—even though he was Williams’ second choice.

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Harry in pictures
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