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Author Topic: Gregg Hartney  (Read 6408 times)
SherryHall
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« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2016, 08:11:18 PM »

Ross Faith

Thank you for the kind words Joel. Gregg Hartney talked about you all the time.

For those of you in the college debate world who didn't know Gregg, he coached debate for over 40 years in the states of Oklahoma and Texas. He "retired" to join the Tulsa Debate League. His loss leaves a huge whole in all of our hearts.

40 years of service and six diamonds can't come close to describing the impact this man had on our community. We will miss Gregg Hartney.

Like many of you, I have struggled to put into words what Gregg Hartney meant to me without breaking up today (as I am currently doing). I've had the pleasure of working with my old coach for the last year and a half on a project which has been near and dear to both of our hearts - the Tulsa Debate League. He never really got a retirement, but that never stopped him from experiencing the joy of a man who could look back on an incredibly succesful life - whether it was watching one of Kathryn Hartney's plays, beaming with pride at a milestone for Hannah or Leah, or smiling ear to ear when he found out that our little Kendall Whittier debate team had made a huge splash with Senator Lankford.

We will never replace him. The best we can hope to do is honor his memory and try to live our lives the way he taught us to live them.

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

Thanks for believing in us, Mr. Hartney. We won't let you down.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 08:01:36 AM by SherryHall » Logged
SherryHall
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« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2016, 08:14:01 PM »

Darren Elliott


Such devastating news earlier today to learn that my friend Gregg Hartney was taken from us today in a car accident in Oklahoma. For a man who spent his life teaching the importance of speech, it is ironic to not feel like any words will be enough. Gregg was retired as a coach, (formerly of Sand Springs HS and Jenks HS) but had recently become program manager for the new Tulsa Urban Debate League. I first met Gregg when I was his lab assistant during an Emporia State Debate camp my sophomore year of college. Being his assistant meant, for me, an irresponsible college student, mostly oversleeping and him covering for me and always being gracious about it. He said his years of experience had trained him for such a working relationship. When we reconnected years later, he was the most friendly person, as if we had never lost touch. He enjoyed kidding me about that summer we worked together. But his humor and his caring were part of who he was.

Spending time with Gregg during our annual HS tournament was something I always looked forward to. When he had rounds off I could count on him for a good story. Something about debate or baseball or both. He was a great story teller. One of my favorites is about when Gregg competed at Odessa Junior College and they competed at Phi Rho Pi (Community College Nationals) during the Vietnam protests. They were competing at Kent State during the protests and the tournament and campus were shut down by student groups. After a while, they negotiated to allow the tournament to continue while the rest of campus was kept shut down by the students. This is just one example of a ton of great stories Gregg had to share.

A few days ago Gregg wrote on facebook about the anniversary of his own fathers death and it corresponding to the Cubs getting back in the World Series finally. Gregg explained that as a kid he basically grew up at Wrigley Field and that this connection provided some symmetry. To lose Gregg on the day the Cubs begin their World Series is one of those ironies he would have been the first to point out. My biggest hope in all of this is that there is an afterlife and somehow Gregg and his dad are reunited and seeing this Cubs history together.

RIP in my friend. The world that knew you has a big hole in it.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2016, 08:14:53 PM »

John Travers‎


There are no words to express the loss here. I was honored to work with Gregg for one year at Jenks High School and substituted when he needed me during 4 years. I always told Jenks students that when you saw me subbing, I was subbing for the best. Gregg was a colleague at TCC and we always enjoyed political discussions. He will be missed by many who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2016, 08:15:40 PM »

Chris Cook


Today is not a good day. I lost my mentor in an accident this morning and I'd like to share with the community who knew Gregg Hartney a few words I was privileged enough to read to him in honor of his retirement from teaching full time last year.

My boss at Riverfield often speaks to parents about the importance of choosing the right college in a similar way as I would describe Gregg Hartney's influence on my life. It wasn't that big of a deal. Other than shaping my education, which led to the meeting of the woman who would become the mother of my child and therefore led to the existence of Sophie through the 6 degrees thing as Kelly knew my debate friends before I got to OU - the meeting of most of my close friends, and my career - Greggs role in my life really didn't amount to much. But when you look at it that way - well...Gregg was, w the exception of some of my family the single most influential person in my life. Many of his students could say the same thing.

It reminds me of the oft told butterfly effect - the notion that a butterfly fluttering its fragile wings in a forest in Borneo might influence the weather in far off Oklahoma through a series of reverberating and increasingly large movements of air. Gregg was apparently a rather large butterfly and when his wings moved and began to stir the ripple of air outwards multiplying exponentially to astonishing effect. I believe the reason so many of his students later became teachers is that each of us saw this multiplier effect and were intoxicated by the possibilities of our own lives. If I was in a position to recruit and hire new teachers - a firm understanding of this mystical power would be at the root of all interviews and questions.

I often teach my own students the axiom - fail early fail often. And I have Gregg to thank for my most spectacular failure - a foolish but completely necessary attempt to replace a legend. When Gregg left cphs for jenks the task fell to me to try to hold the cphs debate program together. I'd blame my youth but I was 30 so it was just stupidity so like Gibbs attempting to follow Switzer at ou I said sure and immediately gained a whole new level of respect for Gregg while at the same time humbling myself in almost spiritual way.

To say that I made a mess of things is an understatement but I learned a lot. I learned why Hartney always seemed irritated - sure it could have been bc we were all basically smart ass jerks - that would have been enough - but really it was because he was juggling 10 balls w both hands tied behind his back - attempting to turn the bureaucratic ship that was the sand springs public schools all while keeping parents at bay, kids in line, busses off the curb and the program funded. Not that hard I thought in June when this proposition was raised - crushing to my soul in November with 1100 bucks worth of skittles and popcorn salt in the back of my Isuzu hombre for the concession stands at all basketball and wrestling matches for three schools that we ran to fund the program. I surrendered. And Hartney despite how he might have felt seeing one of his own run the ship ashore Exxon Valdez style stayed right by my side and even wrote my recommendation for another debate coaching job! This might seem foolish, but I know now what he was doing. It took years of teaching for me to understand his madness.

He was giving me enough rope to hang myself and then he cut me loose right before I gave up completely. In short he was doing what all good teachers do - and what great parents do - and what he did for all of us - Gregg allowed us to outgrow our notions of who we were and what we are capable of so that we would wonder and wander in search of something that would leave us in awe. Slack jawed and humbled by what our lives might become and the good we might do. It was the best gift I've ever received and I know because I've tried for years to reciprocate and nothing measures up. So I'm doing what most of us did when faced with the generosity of such a gift - I'm paying it forward to my own child and my own students in hopes that one day the ledger will be balanced.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2016, 08:16:08 PM »

Eli Brennan


Goodbye to my dear friend and mentor, Gregg Hartney. My first access to a debate guru was Gregg's generosity in the fall of 1990. Answering our pestering questions with a vibrant zeal many of you know well. He's patiently supported and comforted myself and literally countless others over the years. I don't know anyone who touched more lives with a more consistently positive influence. We lost a great person this afternoon. Thanks for Everything, Gregg. Rest well.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2016, 08:16:33 PM »

Brenda McCann Mahan‎

Words cannot describe your loss so sorry
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SherryHall
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« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2016, 08:17:01 PM »

Tommy Snider


Iíll never forget the fourth round of districts my junior year we were debating a very good Charles Page team. I looked at the postings and saw that Gregg Hartney, the legend, was judging. Heíd never judge me, Iíve never seen him judge, but I did hear he tended to fall asleep in the middle of rounds. Sure enough while giving one of my speeches, in the middle of the debate, I saw what appeared to be Mr. Hartney asleep during my speech. I was worried that he had just not flowed my speech and, to calm myself, I tried to get a peek at what his flows looked like after the round. I expected to see incomplete notes and empty spaces but, instead, I saw one of the cleanest and most detailed flows Iíve ever seen. To this day the leading theory on how this happened was that his (equally legendary) moustache flowed the debate for him.
Itís so surreal when someone you looked up to throughout high school, college, and the first year of your job passes away. The world, Oklahoma, and debate lost a true legend today. Tournaments, Cameron, and Oklahoma debate won't be the same without him.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2016, 08:19:36 PM »

http://ktul.com/news/local/retired-jenks-teacher-dies-tuesday-after-crash-near-mannford
Retired Jenks teacher dies Tuesday after crash near Mannford
By Jessica Remer Tuesday, October 25th 2016

MANNFORD, Okla (KTUL) -- A longtime Green Country teacher died Tuesday in a crash near Mannford.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a semi-truck crashed head-on into a vehicle on State Highway 33. Gregg Hartney, 66, died shortly after the accident. The semi driver was not injured.

OHP hasn't determined the cause of the crash at this time.

According to Hartney's Facebook page, he retired from Jenks Public Schools in 2015 and he previously taught at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs. Many former students and friends have left condolences since news of his passing.

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SherryHall
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« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2016, 08:20:01 PM »

Eric Emerson

He was an amazing presence at tournaments, always in good spirits. He was truly a pillar in the community and he will be missed. Rest In Peace.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2016, 08:22:07 PM »

Don Crabtree

Huge loss to the debate community!
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SherryHall
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« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2016, 08:22:46 PM »

Bob Lechtreck

A true loss. He and I had a lot of discussions (read debates and arguments) about debate over the years. His loss will be felt heavily.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2016, 08:23:19 PM »

Carol Patton Strickland

Your tribute is so wonderful. I, too, was devastated when I learned of his death today. He was a very special part of our lives and a dear friend. He will be truly missed by so many.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2016, 09:48:08 PM »

Les Phillips


I am shocked by the sudden death of Gregg Hartney. I knew and admired him for more than 30 years. Anything can happen. Hug the people you love.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2016, 09:49:53 PM »

Renard R. Roy

I met him ... in the Hospitality Suite at #Nats2015. He had known my old coach and several former coaches from the Houston circuit with whom I had grown up. He was about to start with the Urban Debate League program in Tulsa and I shared some of my experiences of UDLs with him. I just saw a post by him yesterday from their recent tournament, I think, and reminded myself that I needed to contact him. While cleaning out things this morning, I actually came across his contact information which we exchanged in Dallas reminding me yet again to write, call or just send that FB Friend Request. I was stunned when I saw this this evening.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2016, 09:50:30 PM »

Robert Lawrence

CREEK COUNTY, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has confirmed the death of a former Jenks Public Schools teacher following a crash in Creek County Tuesday.

OHP said in a statement Tuesday night that 66-year-old Gregg Hartney died after a head-on crash with a semi on State Highway 33 near Mannford.

Hartney was a former debate teacher and coached a debate team before retiring in 2015.

The driver of the semi was not injured.
KJRH
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