Hart expected to take Burleson Centennial job

June 22, 2013

Granbury’s Brad Hart is expected to be named head baseball coach at Burleson Centennial High School at Monday’s school board meeting, Burleson athletic director Phil Anderson said.

Hart has been the head coach at Granbury since 2009 and was an assistant coach under Pat Watson for three years prior. During that time, he was part of six playoff appearances.

“I’ve known Brad, and he’s got a good program there in Granbury,” said Anderson.

“I like his steady coaching philosophy, his organized practices, the way he works with parents, the whole structure of his program.

“We wanted somebody with experience and a great knowledge of the game, and Brad has that.”

Hart led the Pirates to the postseason four of the past five years, including second-round appearances in 2009 and 2013. The one season they narrowly missed the playoffs was 2011, when they still finished with a winning record (16-15) and were .500 (7-7) in district.

“That was a tough year. We just missed it,” said Hart. “That’s the first time in my career as a head coach we didn’t go to the playoffs.”

In his first season as Granbury head coach, Hart led the Pirates to the District 8-4A championship. It was their first district title since 1999, and the subsequent bidistrict sweep of South Hills was their first playoff advancement since 2003.

It featured a combined no-hitter by pitchers Jared Hickey and Cody Sillivent in the opening game. It was one of two memorable no-hitters in Hart’s tenure, the other being Wade McClintock’s gem to clinch a playoff berth in 2012.

“We made so many memories,” said Hart.

“You build a lot of friendships and relationships in eight years. It’s hard to leave, but it’s also exciting to have new challenges.

“The thing I’ve always been impressed with in Granbury is the people. They really are giving people. I know with the tornado we saw a lot of that, but I’ve been seeing that kind of giving for years.”

Hart will be taking over a Centennial program that has established itself as a playoff regular in only two short years of existence. The Spartans, under coach Matt Waldmann, reached the 3A regional quarterfinals in 2012 before losing to perennial power West, and last season they were ousted by another powerhouse, District 7-4A champion Aledo, before pushing the Bearcats to three games in bidistrict.

Waldmann resigned to pursue a career in administration as a principal.

“We’ve got some talent here,” said Anderson. “We had 5A coaches who wanted this job, but Brad was the guy we wanted.”

Hart said the thing he will remember most about Granbury, just as his other stops, is the relationships he established with his players.

“I still talk to a lot of them (former players),” he said. “It’s not always easy between a coach and players. I’ve butted heads with players, but in the end we look back and we have lots of cool memories with baseball here.”

Hart previously led Coahoma to the playoffs from 2001-03 and Lake Worth in 2005 before coming to Granbury.

In his first season as Pirate head coach, he turned the team around from a 14-17 squad that missed the playoffs in 2008 to 19-12 district and bidistrict champions.

Granbury Athletic Director Dwight Butler declined comment until after Monday’s Burleson board decision.

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