|Published: 9:50 AM, 08/17/2013
||Last updated: 9:51 AM, 08/17/2013
Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
After a search for a new job in recent months, former Cocke County High School football coach Greg Hacker has landed a job in Seymour, Indiana.
Hacker, who led the Fighting Cocks to a 9-22 record over the past three seasons and the school’s lone playoff berth in over a decade during the 2011 campaign, now holds a number of positions on the staff of the Class 4A Seymour High School Owls football staff.
Hacker, who arrived in Newport after a lengthy stint as an assistant coach at T.L. Hanna High School, and Cocke County High School split ways following the 2012 season, which was the first time in 10 years that the school had posted consecutive seasons of multiple win campaigns. Last November, sources reported that Hacker resigned under pressure of termination from his coaching position.
Those same sources also said that the former CCHS coach’s job was in jeopardy prior to the 2012 campaign, despite taking the Fighting Cocks to the TSSAA Playoffs the season before.
Hacker, who declined to issue comment last November, first spoke of the situation via phone on Thursday night from Indiana. He said that while he didn’t want to give up the head coaching position last November, he knew it was inevitable due to circumstances swirling around the CCHS program.
“I had planned to resign since the conclusion of the season, because there was a lot of tension from things that didn’t have to do with the game of football,” Hacker said via phone from Indiana on Thursday night. “We had tremendous success, compared to the recent history of Cocke County, over the course of the last two years.”
Hacker led Cocke County to eight wins in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, including the first season in which the squad had won multiple district games for the first season since 2001.
Despite the way things ended for Hacker in Newport, he said that he was able to take what happened over the course of the past three seasons and use them to better himself as a coach.
“The last three years were a great learning experience,” Hacker said. “I gained valuable knowledge about how to run a football program.”
Hacker said he would use that knowledge at Seymour High. Under new Owls coach Josh Shattuck, who took the job after being a head coach in Michigan, Hacker holds a handful of responsibilities. He is the team’s assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coordinator.
Winding up at the southern Indiana school, which is located between Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, was a process for Hacker, as he remained on the Cocke County High faculty through the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year as a physical education instructor.
Hacker, the 2011 District 2-AAA co-Coach of the Year, said that he went through a lengthy search
process to find the right fit for him and his wife, Kelli, the former trainer for several years at Cocke County High School. The couple met after Hacker moved to Newport in 2010, and have a 19-month old son, Tre, and stepdaughter Skylar.
Kelli Hacker will be Seymour High’s new athletic trainer.
“It was a process of eliminating jobs that weren’t so favorable,” said Hacker, who noted the couple will receive a $22,000 total raise in comparison to their positions at CCHS. “In all we needed two jobs, not one, and with her being able to get on here - we decided this was the best fit.”
Hacker said he turned down several jobs, including some head coaching positions, in South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee for the Seymour position. The school is located 82 miles from his hometown of Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
“It’s great to be at a school that is rich in tradition in all sports,” Hacker said. “All of their sports programs are going in the right direction and all the coaches teach fundamentals and mechanics in their sports.
“The facilities are great, there’s two training rooms, two Olympic-sized swimming pools, two large gymnasiums, a big stadium - with the possibility of turf next year - and a 10,000-seat basketball arena,” Hacker said.
Since starting in July, Hacker said things have been great at the Indiana High School campus.
“The community is supportive, the parents are supportive,” Hacker said. “There’s no negativity and it’s a fun atmosphere to teach and coach in.”
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