Long-time UNC driver 'Super Dave' passes
Posted October 10, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C. — On Friday, the long-time bus driver for the UNC basketball team, David Harder, passed away at the age of 64.
Known to the team as Super Dave, Harder drove the Tar Heels basketball team for 27 years and was rewarded with a national championship ring after the 2005 season.
"I show it to people all the time," Harder told WRAL-TV's Debra Morgan in a 2009 interview. "If somebody says something about Carolina, I'll stick it up in their face and show it to them. Here's what I think of Carolina"
Harder sat about 24 rows up at Carolina games and was even known to get on the floor and practice with the team. Harder became a father figure and friend to all the players over the years, and singled out Danny Green as one of the players he best bonded with.
"This is a shock for all of us and truly a sad day," UNC head basketball coach Roy Williams said. "Dave Harder was a part of the North Carolina basketball family and will always be thought of in that way. He was extremely dependable, trustworthy, and fantastic at what he did. We will truly miss him, but we will remember him every time the Carolina basketball team steps on that bus."
Harder picked the team up from and drove them to the airport on long trips and made the drive himself on the shorter ones, even checking the team into the hotel.
"I figure that's a little bit less that the coaches have to worry about," Harder said. "The players all know me so they don't worry about who they are riding with."
Harder's passing comes one week to the day before UNC is set to hold their season kick off event "Late Night with Roy."
Asked just two years ago how long he would continue to drive the team, Harder responded, "As long as I'm healthy and can do it safely, I'll stay there."
Harder drove for Coach America for 36 years after previously serving in the U.S. Army.
"He was our senior most full time driver and he will sorely be missed," said Thomas Slaughter, Coach America District Manager. "There's not a single driver that can just step into his shoes. The rapport that he built up and the relationships he made were unmatchable."
He is survived by his wife, two sons, five grandchildren and a great grandchild. Funeral services will be Tuesday afternoon.