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Hacker out at CCHS

Published: 3:05 PM, 11/29/2012 Last updated: 3:15 PM, 11/29/2012

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-After three seasons at the helm of the Cocke County High School football program, Greg Hacker is out as coach of the Fighting Cocks.

According to multiple sources, Hacker reportedly resigned his position on Monday in a meeting with
school administration.

A team meeting was reportedly to be held this morning to inform the returning players that Hacker would not be returning to coach next year.

Multiple attempts to reach Hacker on Monday evening were unsuccessful.

Cocke County High School athletic director Patrick O'Neil confirmed the resignation on Monday night.

“Coach Hacker walked into my office on Monday at 3:30 and resigned,” said O'Neil when reached via telephone late Monday. “We wish him in the best in his future endeavors and we wish him well.”

O'Neil, who indicated that a search for Hacker's replacement would begin immediately, said no reason was given for Hacker's abrupt resignation.

He also was unable to confirm if the coach's resignation had been forced, or if the decision was of Hacker's own accord.

One source indicated that Hacker was forced to resign under pressure of immediate, looming termination of his coaching job in Monday's meeting with school officials.

“He resigned is all I know and I accepted (it),” O'Neil said.

In his three seasons in Newport, Hacker took the task of rebuilding the football program which had won only five games in the previous five seasons. Hacker compiled a 9-22 record during his three year stint, including the school's first .500 regular season and playoff appearance in a decade.

The win-loss record Hacker had in his three years as football coach stands out, as Hacker won nine games in 31 attempts. Dating back to October 17, 2003 through the final game of the 2009 season - Cocke County won only nine games in 62 attempts.

The football team also had solid offensive seasons during Hacker's tenure, including having three straight years with 1,000 yards passing and DJ Haney was the leading rusher in District 2-AAA in 2011. Hacker's three offenses rank as some of the best in recent history with the 2011 and 2012 offenses ranking first and third, respectively, over the past nine seasons.

The 2011 offense gained 3,081 yards and scored 285 points, while the 2012 offense gained 2,269 yards and scored 148 points.

The lasting legacy of the Hacker era at Cocke County High School, will be the 2011 season, which involved three heroic comeback victories.

Hacker, who came to CCHS via T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina, guided the team to a 5-5 regular season, the best record that the school has achieved since 2001.

The regular season success saw the school qualify for its first TSSAA Playoff berth since the 2002 season.

Also involved in the season were three District 2-AAA wins, including the first over arch rival Jefferson County since the 1998 campaign.

The conclusion of the season also saw numerous accolades roll into the program, including Hacker receiving the District 2-AAA Coach of the Year award.

Then senior Krys Cates was a Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State selection. Cates later became the program's first NCAA Division I scholarship signee in nearly 30 years, when he signed a National Letter of Intent with Tennessee Tech University in February 2012.

Three other CCHS football players also signed Letters of Intent that day. Brandon Davis and Darion France signed with Union College (KY), a NAIA level school.

Offensive lineman Bob Leffler signed to play at NCAA Division III Emory and Henry College.

For more on this developing story, check the Newport Plain Talk, and the Social Media Outlets.

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