It is with deep regret that the Cayman Islands Athletic Association (CIAA) learnt of the passing legendary Coach Jerry Harper this past Sunday and the Association, and all of its Members are in deep mourning with respect to his death.
Coach Harper in many ways could be described as the Father of the modern athletics in the Cayman Islands. An educator, he brought with him the ability to not only coach but more importantly to teach the fundamentals of the various disciplines of the sports. The achievements of his “barefoot brigade” is legendary in the annals of local athletics.
A no non-nonsense Administrator Coach Harper served as the Second Vice-President of the Association from 2003-2008 and could always be called on to provide erudite contribution and guidance to the meetings of the Executive body during his term in office, as well as at General Meetings of the Association.
His involvement in the sport was not confined to track and field events but extended to road races - a segment of the sport that grew leaps and bounds under his guidance.
He was instrumental in keeping the Executive and the Association on the development and performance of overseas based College and Professional athletes, with whom he remained in constant touch and all of whom came to share a close bond with Coach Harper.
A giant of a man, despite his physical stature, Coach “Fatcalves” Jerry will be soundly missed by the Athletic Community in general and by the CIAA in particular.
He is the second Track & Field Coach to have died this year and the Executive of the Association have undertaken to honor the names of both Coaches in a permanent way starting with the upcoming Season.