Hatcher will lead Central Eagles' football program

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Gary Phillips

A new football coach has been announced for Central High School.

Craig Hatcher was introduced to the team and the media at an assembly Friday, May 18.

Hatcher is a 1987 CHS graduate and served as an assistant coach under former Eagles coaches Al Usher and Joey Mangum.

He is currently the assistant principal at Chesterfield-Ruby Middle School, but will leave that job to take a teaching position at Central starting with the 2012-2013 school year.

CHS assistant principal Ken Buck introduced Hatcher and said he’s know him many years and is confident he has the background to lead the Eagles.

“I have no doubt that he keenly understands the tradition of winning and excellence that is Central High School Eagles football,” he said. “He spent 15 years at this school as an assistant coach. He understands the football that is played in this county.”

Hatcher said being hired as the CHS coach has long been his ambition.

“This is a dream job for me,” he said. “It’s where I have roots and have always loved. Central High is family filled with tradition and pride and I hope I can build on the tradition and keep the community proud of our program and our students that are involved in it.”

Hatcher told the players to be proud of the tradition at Central.

“Do you realize this school is 39 years-old and there’s only been two football coaches here?” he said. “I make the third, so the tradition is strong and we’re going to make sure it keeps going.”

CHS principal Judd Starling was not available for the announcement, but released a statement.

“We welcome coach Hatcher back to the Central High family,” he wrote. “He keenly understands the winning tradition of Eagles football.”

Hatcher said he realizes the large role he has taken on, following coach Joey Mangum.

“It’s exciting. Before coach Mangum, there was coach Usher and I had been with them since 1982 in one form or another, so it’s like family,” he said. “It’s a dream job of mine to be involved with this program and the community.”

 Hatcher has degrees form Coastal Carolina University, The United States Sports Academy and Wingate University.