Austin, Harvey (1935-1988) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
After a three-year stint in the Army, Austin attended Purdue University on a track scholarship where he also honed his basketball skills as a three-year starter. Austin's arsenal featured a variety of shots, and he relied on uncustomary quickness to pierce defenses and drive to the hoop. He graduated from Purdue in 1960, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education.
Versatility also marked Austin's coaching career, upon which he embarked at McKinley High in 1963 as basketball, track, and cross-country coach. He wore all three hats at East High and Hutch-Tech as well, and produced impressive career records of 174-108 in basketball (including consecutive Yale Cups in East High in 1973 and 1974), 110-25 in track, and 115-47, with two city titles in cross-country.
Austin is warmly remembered not only for his own athletic achievements, but also for his selfless service to the youth of Buffalo. Austin found his greatest fulfillment as a father figure to the high school athletes he coached. He also worked in various programs for the New York State Divisions of Youth, the Erie County Department of Parks and Recreation and the City of Buffalo. The 2,000 Buffalonians who appeared in person to mourn his passing represent but a fraction of those whose lives were touched by the generosity of Harvey Austin.