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NWFSC Coach Harrington Passes Away

October 9, 2014
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A community is grieving for a beloved basketball coach who passed away from injuries sustained in a head-on collision.

Patrick Harrington died early Thursday, exactly a week after emergency crews had to cut him from his vehicle and airlift him to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.

He was 51.

Harrington was northbound on State Road 85 with his wife, Lori Harrington, when Arthur Clyburn’s car crossed over the median and struck their vehicle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Clyburn, who is from Ohio, was airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where he remained in stable condition Thursday, according to a hospital spokesperson.

FHP announced it would be conducting a traffic homicide investigation following news of Harrington’s death.

Lori Harrington was treated and released the same day and went to be with her husband.

As news spread of the accident, a fund was created for the Harrington family and had raised $13,185 by early Thursday afternoon.

Harrington, who lived in Niceville, leaves behind his wife and three children Kelly, Patrick and Katherine.

He has been the Northwest Florida State College women’s basketball coach since 2010.

“The entire NWF family is grieving the loss of Coach Harrington,” said President Ty Handy.

Prior coverage

Northwest Florida State College Women’s Basketball Coach Patrick Harrington has died, according to a Baptist Hospital spokeswoman.

Harrington, who was 51 and the father of three, was being treated at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola where he was flown by medical helicopter after involved in a head-on collision Oct. 2 on State Road 85.

The college released a statement on his death just before noon Thursday.

“During his years at NWF State College, Coach Harrington was not only an outstanding coach but he was a friend to all students, faculty and staff and the communities of NWF,” said Athletic Director Ramsey Ross. “As successful as he was on the court, Patrick was an even better person and family man.

“Patrick will be greatly missed by all.”

His wife, Lori, who was with him in their 2010 Ford Fusion at the time of the accident, was treated for cracked ribs and vertebrae at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

In the past two days, 28 friends and family members have raised $5,445 toward a $10,000 goal, according to a gofundme.com page that urges folks to “come together for Coach Harrington.”

The wreck occurred near the entrance to Northwest Florida Regional Airport as Patrick and Lori traveled north on SR 85. They were struck by another driver, 53-year-old Arthur Clyburn, who had crossed three southbound lanes and the median before the collision, according to Florida Highway Patrol officials.

In his four years in Niceville, Harrington was 100-25 with back-to-back NJCAA D I National Quarterfinal appearances. The team’s 2014-15 season kicks off Oct. 25.

College officials said information about services would be released at a later time.

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