Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Porter Ridge football coach Blair Hardin leaves for Freedom

After five years at Porter Ridge High School, football coach Blair Hardin is leaving to take over the open position at Freedom High School, Union County director of athletics Doug Jones told the Observer.

Efforts to reach Hardin were unsuccessful.

Hardin led Porter Ridge to back-to-back N.C. 4A state championship appearances in the past two seasons. In the past three years, his teams were 40-5.

For his five-year career at Porter Ridge, Hardin was 50-18.

Porter Ridge, which had competed in the Southern Carolina 3A/4A conference, a mixture of Union County 3A and 4A teams, is moving into a conference with Charlotte schools: Butler, East Mecklenburg, Garinger, Independence, Myers Park and Rocky River. That new league begins next season.

Butler and Independence have won 10 of the past 13 state championships in the state's largest classification, currently 4AA.

East Mecklenburg and Myers Park have both reached state semifinals in the state's largest classification during that run.

At Freedom, Hardin will coach in a 3A conference that includes Fred T. Foard, Hibriten, Hickory, Patton, St. Stephens, South Caldwell and Watauga.

At Freedom, Hardin replaces Mike Helms, who once coached at West Charlotte. Helms was at Freedom for four seasons and produced three straight winning seasons. Freedom was 12-3 last season. Helms resigned in late February.

Freedom principal Mike Swan said he appreciated Hardin's winning attitude.

"Coach Hardin comes to us with a range of experience and his toughness and togetherness mentality shows that he is dedicated to helping student-athletes reach their full potential," Swan said in a statement. "Coach Hardin brings the whole package to our program. He has a win-everywhere attitude, in the classroom, on the field, and in the community, which is something we at Freedom strive for. I am confident in our decision and feel that coach Hardin has the experience and skills to help us accomplish our goals."


Anonymous said...

Scared of the Bulldog empire? Lol go dawgs!

Anonymous said...

strange situation. I dont understand how he would see Freedom as an opportunity better than where he was at. Something doesnt add up.

Anonymous said...

It seems to be a trend that the better football coaches don't want to be involved in the Charlotte Meck leagues. Why would Porter Ridge a Union County School be forced to a conference outside the counties boundaries and lose all the rivalry games?. This isn' the NCAA where $$ rule this is simply an injustice by the NCHSSA, I'm sure Hardin left for similar reasons that Mike Newsome left Butler.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised he stayed as long as he did the administration at Porter Ridge is difficult to deal with.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 3/26 11:39

He's leaving because of the conference jump PR is about to make, and the new conference they are moving to with the big boys. He know's he can't maintain a winning record there, or at the very least it would take years to build a team to compete at that level, so he's bailing to a smaller school where he thinks he can win at again, and quick.
There are still great coaches in Char Meck, it's just the day's of one coach staying at a program for the long term are going by the wayside. And it's from both sides, both the coaches and the schools want to win now, and if the program isn't producing, the coach is gone, even if he's had multiple winning seasons. I still look back on my days in school fondly, our coach was with my school for over 20 years and retired a legend. Don't think you will see that again unfortunately, and it's not all the coaches fault.

Anonymous said...

let's see, build a winning 3a/4a program on the backs of 1a 2a 3a schools, now as we are about to be tested with true 4A competition,a move that has been long talked and pushed within the school for years,it would have been exiciting to have seen the coaching matchups at the next level even if the talent level may have cooled off.

To those who have longed pushed for this move to be in the big boy (girl) league, time to put yur money, support and recruiting efforts into high gear to ensure a competive program will be availble game in and game out

Anonymous said...

Those of you running your mouths about being scared of a new conference are ignorant and obviously have no connection to the program. If you were truly connected then you would know that the main factor for the departure was the continuous lack of support from the principal and athletic director. It is no secret that the parents took care of Coach Hardin and his assistants. It is amazing what Coach Hardin and his staff accomplished despite the lack of appreciation that was given from the leadership. Before you run your mouths do some research and get a clue. The leadership is responsible for this move!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. This is not about the conference. In Burke County it is 12 month pay and a stipend and ALL your kids in a weight class. They do it right for all their schools.

Anonymous said...

He is leaving at the right time, granted the conference will be tougher, but all Union COunty coaches seem to be leaving. There must be issues there. The program he is going to is a winner and since its outside of CMS the Stipend and pay will be better. Best of Luck Coach Hardin.

ketz said...

Blair Hardin is just the only one who knows the real reason. It would be better to just respect his decision. I just read this news in http://www.collegefootballfinal.com/

Anonymous said...

The AD at Porter Ridge (Bill Rodgers) is an intolerable idiot. It's hard to believe Hardin made it five years without leaving.

Amber Waves said...

Again, best wishes to Blair Hardin. As a parent of a student at Porter Ridge, I am glad to get the "heads up" on the AD at the school. How unfortunate that Bill Rodgers is such a nincompoop, it scared off a superior Head Football Coach.

As for the rest of you with your Butler bull...please go fly a kite.

Anonymous said...

I played for coach Hardin and completely can understand his decision to leave. The administration is completely unsupportive of the football program and the athletic director should have retired years ago. He has turned the program completely around and helped many young men to the next level. As for everyone mentioning the new conference being made for this season for his leaving is absolutely ridiculous. Current or former I know any of his players would gladly follow him into any stadium around the country and lay everything out on the field. He never gave up on us and I know we would never give up on him. I wish him the best of luck at Freedom and know he will continue to succeed.