Tom Harpst was one of the early outstanding athletes to come out of the then-forming Reynolds Area School District.

He attended Fredonia/Delaware School from 1958-60, then Reynolds High School from 1960-62. He played baseball from 1958-60; basketball, 1958-62; and football, 1960-62. In football, he was awarded Mercer County honorable mention in 1960, when he was named Most Valuable Back.

In basketball, his career spanned both schools. At Fredonia/Delaware the first two seasons, he scored 101 and 152 points respectively. At Reynolds, he was a member of the Mercer County Co-Championship team in 1960-61, scoring 167 points. His senior year, he drilled the nets for 339 points as the team again won a county Class B crown. Tom was named to the 1962 All-State Class B Team as honorable mention.

At Slippery Rock University, he won 3 letters in baseball and 3 in basketball. The basketball team was Western Division Conference champion in 1963 and state conference champ. In 1965, they again won the west while finishing state runner-up. In baseball, the 1965 team was an NAIA District 18 qualifier.

He played independent baseball for New Hamburg in the Pymatuning League for 16 years. He went on to a brilliant coaching career, serving for 38 seasons, including 22 high school varsity, 2 college and 14 JV/Jr. High. His girls' teams posted a record of 404-172, while the boys' teams went 109-101.

At Phillipsburg-Osceola High, his 1976 boys squad won the District 6 Mountain League and he was named Coach of the Year. At Coudersport High, his girls teams won 8 District 9 titles and 7 North Tier crowns. He had 10 PIAA state tourney qualifiers, one Elite Eight appearance and two Sweet 16 showings. In 1993 he was named Big 30 Coach of the Year, also winning 6 North Tier Coach of the Year honors. He served as athletic director at the school for 20 years and was a member of the District 9 Committee.

He coached baseball at Lakeview High from 1967-73, winning 2 county crowns. He coached a 1984 Babe Ruth state runner-up team, and 4 district champs. He was a former golf coach for 4 seasons and football assistant coach for 12 years. A baseball and softball umpire, he coached Jamestown varsity softball from 2012-16 and qualified for the D-10 playoffs 3 times.