Longtime Little League coach passes away

Published 4:03 pm Friday, July 24, 2015

Mike Harrington was described as a quiet hero, a pillar in the community, a gentle giant and someone who loved working with youth.
Sadly, Harrington, who coached Bogalusa Little League baseball and football for 30 years, passed away Monday at St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington at age 54.
Harrington was married to Hazel Harrington for the last 25 years.
Hazel Harrington described Mike as a quiet hero in the community.
“He had the time and the patience with the kids,” Hazel said. “He brought them out of the streets and onto the ballfield. He loved kids. He was that chosen man by God to be a mentor to the kids in the community. He took out his free time, his effort and his money to help the kids. Not only did he coach the Little League baseball, but he also coached the Little League football. He also had the men’s softball and the women’s softball. I call him the quiet hero because he didn’t do it for the recognition. He helped anyone he came in contact with, and he will be recognized by God. He was the father for many kids because a lot of kids didn’t have that father figure in their life. He taught them how to remain focused and dedicated by being positive.”
Raymond Tate worked closely with Mike Harrington in the Bogalusa Sports Association and for approximately the last 10 years, the Washington/Tangipahoa Football League.
In the Washington/Tangipahoa Football League, the teams play squads from Amite, Tylertown, Miss., Angie, Pine and Franklinton before competing against teams throughout the state at the end of the season.
Tate said Harrington was a gentle giant.
“He was a giant of a man, but he was easy to approach,” Tate said. “He had an impact on a lot of kids’ life both in baseball and football. He loved it. He never wanted any compensation. He spent money on equipment out of his own pocket to help keep the league going for the less fortunate kids. He was a disciplinarian when he had to be. If he got a report about a kid cutting up in school, he’d pull them to the side and counsel them. He preached to the kids that sports is great, but education comes first. He was a father figure to a lot of kids. He’s going to be sorely missed.”
Clint Frazier, who is the president of the Bogalusa Baseball League, also praised Harrington, saying that he loved working with the children.
“He coached not only baseball, but football too. He worked with all of the coaches in the organization. All of them worked well together. He also liked to participate in the all-star events,” Frazier said. “In 30 years, he saw a lot of children. He was a disciplinarian, and he didn’t have many problems with his youth. He respected them and they respected him.”
Talik Williams, who is going to the fifth grade at Central Elementary, played baseball and football for Harrington.
He said when Harrington was fighting through cancer, the team won the baseball championship for him.
Williams said Harrington was a good coach.
“He led us in the baseball and the football league,” Williams said
Williams also said that Harrington put players in the position the player was supposed to be playing.
Ta’lyn Williams, who will be a fourth grader at Central Elementary, also played for Harrington and said Harrington was a good coach.
“He taught us everything we needed to know on how to play baseball,” Ta’lyn Williams said.
Ta’lyn Williams said one of the best things about Harrington is that he didn’t holler.
“If you missed a groundball, he just told us to do our best on the next play,” Ta’lyn Williams said.
There will be a memorial service for Harrington July 24 at the Bogalusa Little League Park on Avenue U from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The funeral is Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Bogalusa High School auditorium.