Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Prov. Day coach Hardin goes for 300th win Thursday

Thursday night, Providence Day football coach Bruce Hardin, who turned 66 Sunday, will go for his 300th career win and try to join an exclusive club. Hardin’s Chargers (3-0) play at Charlotte Catholic (4-0).

According to N.C. High School Athletic Association records, seven football coaches in state history have won 300 games heading into the current system: Bob Paroli (387 at six schools, including Fayetteville 71st), Jack Holley (380 at three schools, including South Columbus), Tom Brown (352 at Bunker Hill and Maiden), B.W. Holt (321 at six schools, including Southwestern Randolph), Daryl Allen (305 at Ahoskie and Hertford County) and Babe Howell (301 at Sylva-Wester, Smoky Mounty, Avery County).

Charlotte Catholic coach Jim Oddo got his 300th win last season and former Independence coach Tom Knotts, now at Dutch Fork (S.C.) has 298 career victories.

Hardin, a Forest City Chase High graduate, earned his undergraduate degree at Appalachian State. He’s coached at Olympic, Harding, West Charlotte, Kannapolis Brown and Providence. He was also an assistant coach at The Citadel and the U.S. Military Academy.

Last year, Hardin – a former Shrine Bowl and East-West All-Star game coach – was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. His teams won two state titles, including what he said was his most memorable win: a 1997 state title at Kannapolis Brown. His twin sons, Blair and Justin, played on that team.

Blair is now coach at Indian Trail Porter Ridge, which is 4-0 and has outscored opponents 194-37. Justin is head coach at 3-1 Weddington, which plays Porter Ridge at home Oct. 22.

“They’re both having good years and I’m proud of them,” Hardin said. “They’re making it on their own. We talk occasionally, but I try to stay out of the way, and I have no desire to play them. I go to a jayvee game (of theirs) when I can and if I can break free from here, I’ll go watch them coach, but I won’t play them. I’ll let them play each other.”