Dan Harwood, one of the area's top boys' basketball coaches, is staying at Magruder after all.

In mid-August, Harwood had agreed to leave the Rockville public school and take over the program at Good Counsel of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. The move was not supposed to go into effect until after the 2004-05 high school season, but yesterday Harwood told Good Counsel Principal Jack Graham that he had reconsidered and would stay at Magruder, where he is 243-92 in 14 years, with three region titles and one state title.

Harwood, the 2001 All-Met Coach of the Year, said if he took the Good Counsel job he would not be able to spend enough time with his two younger children -- Tim, a seventh-grader, and Colleen, a sixth-grader.

"The last couple weeks, I started realizing some of the things it would take to get the [Good Counsel] program going," said Harwood, 46. "I want to give my two younger kids the same opportunity my two older kids have had, and the time that it would require to build the [Good Counsel] program up would not allow for that."

Harwood's initial decision to accept the job was contingent upon Good Counsel letting him coach this season at Magruder. Harwood's oldest son, Patrick, who plays on the Colonels' varsity basketball team, and oldest daughter, Emily, both are seniors at the school, and Harwood wanted to be at Magruder with them.

Harwood said he felt comfortable changing his decision because he had not yet recruited any players to come to the school.

"Nobody's at Good Counsel because of me," Harwood said. "I know some people will be disappointed, but hopefully they'll understand."

Michael Haight was hired as the Falcons' interim coach in late August. He takes over for Tim McKenna, who resigned in late July.