Hart leaves Franklin Co. for Lafayette County job

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2005

After three years at the helm of the Franklin County footballprogram, Anthony Hart has left for Lafayette County to become thenew head football coach at the Oxford-based school. The LafayetteCounty school board approved the hiring Monday night.

Hart’s contract with the school begins July 1. He replacesformer Lafayette County coach Scott Samsel at the post.

Repeated attempts to reach Hart for comment Monday and Tuesdaymorning were unsuccessful.

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“We’re glad to have him,” said Lafayette County athleticdirector Jeff Nelson. “He was one of the first two we went after,and we’re proud we got him.”

In Hart’s three-year stay at Franklin County, he compiled a 29-8record overall, guiding the Bulldogs to the playoffs each year.Hart’s 2004 team reached the South State Championship before beingupended by West Lauderdale 7-0 in late November. He replacedveteran Bulldog coach Michael Goff in March of 2002 and becameFranklin County athletic director last July as well.

“We look forward to working with him,” added Nelson. “He’s agood guy that covered all the bases we wanted him to cover duringour interview process.”

Nelson noted that Hart interviewed for the opening two weeksago, and he made a solid impression.

“We had about 30 to 40 applicants for this job, but he (Hart)was one of the ones that stood out,” continued Nelson. “We wentafter him, and we brought his family up last week for a visit.”

The Commodores went 12-2 last season, and finished as Class 4ANorth State runner-up. Clarksdale beat Lafayette County in theNorth final.

“We’ve always had a pretty good football here,” said Nelson. “Weannually produce strong teams.”

Hart will be called on to strictly coach football at LafayetteCounty. He will also help with the public relations aspectregarding students and faculty.

Before becoming head coach of the Bulldogs, Hart guided the LoydStar Hornets to an appearance in the Class 2A South State finals in2001, falling to Gulfport St. John. Three months later he left hisalma mater for Franklin County. Hart graduated from Loyd Star in1983.

A Deacon at Macedonia Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Hart and hiswife Traci are the proud parents of three children in Daniel,Derek, and Betsey.

“We look forward to a long relationship with them here atLafayette County,” said Nelson. “This was a big move for everyoneinvolved.”

Hart coached at West Point for 3 years as an assistant coachunder Bubba Davis and then went to Brookhaven as headbaseball/assistant football coach to Don Coleman. He later coachedat Wayne County and Jasper, Ala. under Davis.

He was head coach at West Lauderdale for one year before goingto Wesson as an assistant to Ronald Greer. Hart played football atCopiah-Lincoln Community College and Mississippi College beforestarting his career in coaching.

Hart’s Bulldogs finished 12-2 in 2004 and he was named The DAILYLEADER’s Coach of the Year on the All-Area Team.