Mead HS, Spokane Community College, Mt Spokane HS
Hall of Fame Class of 2002
Track and Field lost a great friend in 2001. Cancer took his life in September, but his memory will live on with his induction into the Hall of Fame. Duane grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Bellarmine Prepatory School in 1959. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Eastern Washington University. He joined the Mead High School coaching staff while he was still in graduate school. In 1967, Duane took over the track and field program at Mead. At that time, Mead had been winless for the previous three years. By 1978, his teams had gone undefeated in dual meets for five straight years with two Boys GSL championship titles and one Girls GSL Championship title. Many people associate Mead High School with track and field success, recognizing the power that they are in the sport. If you search for a starting point for that success, you eventually end up looking at one man – Duane Hartman. He is the coach who turned things around at Mead and he is the reason those who have followed have had an opportunity to build on the success that is associated with Mead High School. He built the program and started a tradition that eventually led to the most successful team in Greater Spokane League history. After building Mead’s program, Duane moved to Spokane Community College where he was the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach to John Buck. He succeeded Coach Buck in 1983 and the rest, they say, is history. Between both Coach Buck and Coach Hartman, Spokane Community College won an unbelievable sixteen straight NWAACC Championship Titles.
Duane “retired” from his head coaching position at SCC in 1996, but he never stopped coaching or contributing to the sport. He remained as an assistant coach at SCC and volunteered as an assistant coach at the newly formed Mt. Spokane High School. He was an official at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games where he watched one of his former SCC athletes, Dan O’Brien, win the gold medal in the decathlon. True to form, he answered the call when Mt. Spokane High School was in great need of an head coach. Duane was planning to step into that position for the upcoming 2002 season when he finally lost his battle with cancer. In his final days, the WSTFCA was able to hold an induction ceremony in his hospital room that touched his heart. At the time of his induction, he was the only active coach to have been inducted. His contributions were great and his mentorship of numerous athletes was life changing. He is a great man and his memory lives on in the many athletes, coaches and other people he touched over his great career.