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Our People
Our People » Central Hudson » In the Community » Our People

Dan Harkenrider

Published Jan. 14, 2015
Note: In some instances, volunteer roles and titles may have changed since these stories were first published.

Central Hudson Job Title: Service Supervisor

Volunteer Efforts Include: Coach for the Triple Threat AAU Girls’ Basketball Team; Recreation Director for the Town of Clinton

Sports have always been a big part of the family. My wife and I have four wonderful children who played basketball, soccer, softball and baseball growing up. I’ve had the pleasure of coaching all of them at one point or another. Since 1999, I have coached numerous sports — at several different levels: recreational, CYO and travel. Each experience has brought me closer to my children and provided me with an opportunity to make a difference in hundreds of children’s lives.

I have been the basketball coach for the Triple Threat AAU girls’ basketball team for eight years. I’ve coached my oldest daughter, Mackenzie, since fourth grade, and recently starting coaching my youngest daughter, Madison, as well. The AAU program prepares the girls for varsity basketball, helps them build relationships with their peers, exposes them to new people and experiences, and teaches them how to balance their responsibilities.

I really enjoy watching the kids improve from the first practice of the year to the final game. It’s incredible to see their progress on and off the court, and to know that you’ve had a part in that. It’s about more than winning — it’s about teamwork, having fun, making sacrifices, obtaining a broader picture of the community and instilling life lessons.

Growing up, I played soccer and basketball. I was fortunate to be coached by my father. I always appreciated him taking time out of his busy day to spend time with my friends and me. Once I became a father and my kids showed an interest in sports, I wanted to be part of that like my dad was for me. Sports provided my family with a shared passion. It allowed us to spend more time together and be involved with their peers. Kids really need the support of their parents and coaching allowed me to provide that support for my own children and their teammates.

I think it’s important for parents to be there for their children. I’ve build strong relationships with my children’s peers and their parents. I try to be there for them when they need help or someone to talk to. I want to prepare them to play ball at a higher level, but also to become a better person and have a successful career in whatever industry they choose. Being a part of their lives makes you feel like you’ve given back to the community and become a small piece of their success.

Madison is 11 years old and in the fifth grade. I hope I can coach her throughout her school years. When she graduates, I hope that doesn’t spell the end of my coaching career. I still want to be involved in the community and coach youth sports even after my children have all graduated and gone onto college and their careers.

As the Recreation Director for the Town of Clinton, I am responsible for hiring lifeguards, implementing summer programs, such as swim lessons, and overseeing the town’s finances. It’s a responsibility I really enjoy because it’s another avenue to give back to my community.

Sports have helped shape the person I’ve become. It has instilled confidence, unselfishness and responsibility. My time playing sports and coaching my children has been invaluable, and it’s an experience I hope all children have the opportunity to take part in.