John Harvill, the longtime football coach at Gaithersburg High, died Friday from complications of a bacterial infection. He was 88.

After taking over as Gaithersburg’s coach in 1956, the McKinley Tech graduate compiled a career record of 312-97 before retiring in 2000 as Maryland’s all-time winningest high school football coach. In that time, Harvill led the Trojans to state titles in 1986 and 1992 and four undefeated seasons.

“When I first came into coaching in the 1970s, he was the guy; he was the man around here,” said Good Counsel football Coach Bob Milloy, who became good friends with Harvill while coaching at Sherwood and Springbrook. “He turned me every inside, outside, every way you could be turned because he was just ahead of everybody else with some of the things he did on offense.”

Harvill’s coaching tree stretches wide, including former longtime Sherwood coach Al Thomas, Northwest Coach Mike Neubeiser, Quince Orchard Coach Dave Mencarini and Gaithersburg’s Kreg Kephart, who played for the undefeated 1972 Trojans before taking over as coach in 2000 following Harvill’s retirement.

“He was a great leader of men and left a tremendous impression on thousands of people who played under and coached under him,” Kephart said. “He built a fantastic program at Gaithersburg and was a true pillar in the community.”

As a visionary within the local football community, Harvill was instrumental in the creation of the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association state playoffs in 1974. Gaithersburg honored Harvill by naming its football stadium after him in 1996.

Harvill is survived by his wife, Betty, two daughters and several grandchildren.

— Brandon Parker

college basketball

The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team announced point guard Marquis Rankin has decided to leave the program, effective immediately.

Rankin, a junior, hadn’t dressed for a game this season because of personal reasons, and Hokies Coach James Johnson indicated he plans to remain in Blacksburg to finish his degree.

Rankin appeared in 53 games over the past two seasons, averaging three points and one assist. His absence leaves freshman Devin Wilson as the team’s lone point guard.

Virginia Tech (7-4) faces UNC Greensboro on Saturday.

— Mark Giannotto

Michigan star Mitch McGary is out indefinitely after deciding to have surgery on his lower back.

McGary’s absence leaves the Wolverines in a tough spot with Big Ten play just around the corner. McGary helped Michigan reach the Final Four last season when he was a freshman, and he was a preseason all-American selection after deciding to put off the NBA and return to the Wolverines for his sophomore year. . . .

Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey said sophomore swingman Cam Biedscheid plans to transfer.

Brey said Notre Dame has given Biedscheid permission to talk to other schools but doesn’t know what schools he is interested in talking to. Biedscheid had announced in November he planned to redshirt this season.

The 6-foot-7 Biedscheid is the second player to leave the program in a week. Scoring leader Jerian Grant announced Sunday he was no longer enrolled in school because of an academic violation, although he hopes to return next season.


Jilleanne Rookard won the 3,000 meters at the U.S. speedskating trials in Kearns, Utah.

The 30-year-old Rookard will head to the Olympics for the second time after finishing strong for a time of 4 minutes 9.66 seconds. She was 12th in the 3,000 at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Rookard finished more than four seconds ahead of the next-fastest skater, Anna Ringsred, at 4:13.81. The top two are expected to be named to the Olympic team when it is officially announced Wednesday.

Later in the evening, Jonathan Kuck claimed another trip to the Olympics with a dominating victory in the 5,000 meters. Kuck won with a time of 6:19.75, almost six seconds ahead of runner-up Emery Lehman. Patrick Meek was third and likely will join Kuck and Lehman on the Olympic team.


Longtime Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti announced he will retire following next week’s game against Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

Aliotti has spent 24 years with the Ducks, including 17 as defensive coordinator. . . .

Veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. . . .

Novak Djokovic overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to advance to the final of the Mubadala Championship exhibition event in the United Arab Emirates for the third time in three years, but he won’t be facing top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic beat Tsonga, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, in 74 minutes to set up a repeat of last year’s final against David Ferrer, who knocked out Spanish compatriot Nadal, 6-4, 6-4.

— From news services
and staff reports