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Thursday, December 06, 2012

BREAKING: Hart Out; Patrick Henry Seeks New Football Coach (UPDATED: Hart To Baseball, Report)

Late this afternoon, we broke the news on Twitter (@hanoversports) that Hanover County Schools has posted the job opening on its web site for a head varsity football coach for Patrick Henry High School.

Sam Hart's tenure in the position is over after three seasons and an overall record of 10-20.  Hart was the longtime assistant to Ray Long, the Central Region's all-time winningest head coach who led Patrick Henry from 1982 to 2009.

Hart's first season, a 5-5 mark, was an improvement over Long's final season in 2009 when Patrick Henry went 3-7, their first losing season since 1992.  But the Patriots slid back precipitously in 2011, falling to a 2-8 campaign, only defeating Thomas Jefferson and J.R. Tucker.  With all three other county schools making the playoffs in 2011, the pressure was on in Ashland.

Coming into 2012, the football season lost one athlete to transfer (Raymon Minor), who never left his mark on the football field for the Patriots as he did on the basketball court, two young quarterbacks, and little experience on either line.  They took their lumps early, losing to Hanover 41-0, then to Atlee at home 56-35 when Morris Jackson rushed for seven touchdowns.

A furious second half comeback in Mechanicsville in the Tomato Bowl fell 15 yards short and the Patriots were again swept in the county with Lee-Davis winning 27-20. After a loss to John Marshall in their Colonial opener, the Patriots were impressive at Douglas Freeman, winning 45-28 against a team that had defeated Atlee and would go on to finish 6-4.

But the Pats weren't able to capitalize on that success, losing close games to Deep Run and Mills Godwin to ensure their third losing season in four years.  They finished with a loss at Hermitage.

The position is open until January 4th and currently, no word on any possible replacements.  There is also no word on the fate of Hart's staff, which included first-year offensive coordinator Matt Crenshaw, previously the head coach at J.R. Tucker.

NBC12 (@MattLincolnTV) is reporting, thus confirming, a report we received from a reliable source a few weeks ago, but could not make public until now, that Hart will return to coaching the Patriots baseball team, where he was a coaching standout for over a decade. That position had been open since last summer.

The job opening is posted HERE.

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