Another Hardin is coming to coach football at Providence High School.
Providence principal Tracey Harrill said Tuesday that she has hired Justin Hardin to replace Randy Long as the school's new football coach. Hardin is currently an assistant at Rock Hill's South Pointe High School.
Hardin's father, Bruce, coached at Providence from 2001-2004, compiling a 29-11 record and reaching the playoffs three straight seasons.
Long replaced Hardin and coached for nine years. Long was 58-50. He had four winning seasons, but none since 2009. Providence was 6-6 in 2010, 2-8 in 2011 and 5-6 in 2012.
Harrill removed Long last month, saying she wanted to "go in a new direction."
At Providence, Justin Hardin will take his second head coaching job. He coached at Weddington High, in Union County, in 2009 and 2010. He finished with a record of 14-11. Before he got there, Weddington had won 36 games in nine seasons. The Warriors were 0-11 in 2008.
Hardin's 2010 team went 9-4, setting a school-record for wins (that was tied last season). At South Pointe, he's helped lead a pair of teams that won a state championship in 2011 and a regional championship in 2012.
At Providence, Hardin will try to deliver the school's 10th winning season since it opened in 1989.
Harrill said Hardin was chosen from 24 applicants. Hardin played high school football for his father at A.L. Brown in Kannapolis and played college football at the Citadel. Hardin was later an assistant coach at Army. His brother, Blair, was named head coach at Freedom High in Morganton this month after coaching previously at Porter Ridge High in Union County. Hardin's father, Bruce, is currently at Providence Day.
Justin Hardin will begin working with the Providence players Wednesday and officially starts his new job in the summer. He will teach physical education.
"We felt like (Justin) was very passionate and he's worked at the collegiate level as well as coached on both sides of the ball," Providence principal Harrill said. "We felt like he brought the whole picture and was who we thought would be the person to take us to the next level. We feel like we've got the right guy. It's a good day for us."
Below is the text of an email Providence principal Tracey Harrill sent to the school's parents and players:
Dear Providence Football Players and Parents:
It is with much excitement that I announce that the new Providence Head Football Coach will be Justin Hardin. Coach Hardin has a rich history as a football coach. He currently serves as the Offensive Coordinator at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, SC. Coach Hardin was the head coach at Weddington High School where he was named Coach of the Year for the conference, broke the school record for wins in a season, and coached his team to win the first ever playoff game prior to moving to South Pointe. At South Pointe, his teams have been State Champions and Regional Champions.
Coach Hardin attended the Citadel where he played football and served as team captain and quarterback. He has coached at West Point Military Academy giving him experience as a college recruiter and coach. Coach Hardin has coached both defense and offense and served as a Head Coach. He has the breadth of experience, skills, and passion to lead the Providence Football program.
Coach Hardin will have a team meeting with football players, and any students interested in playing football, before spring workouts tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17, in the gym.
Parents are invited to meet Coach Hardin and hear his plans for our team moving forward at 6:00pm on Wednesday, April 17 in the PHS Auditorium.
I look forward to great things ahead for our football program and our student athletes.