River Bluff High names new head football coach
Blair Hardin brings a winning record and two N.C. state-championship appearances to Gator Nation
River Bluff High School football fans, your wait for a new head coach is over.
The Lexington County School District One board on Tuesday night announced that C. Blair Hardin, 34, will become the school’s new coach as well as River Bluff’s athletic director. His start date is yet to be determined, according to district spokeswoman Mary Beth Hill
Hardin was selected from a nationwide pool of more than 90 applicants. He becomes the second athletic director and head football coach at River Bluff, which opened in 2013.
He replaces David Bennett, promoted earlier this year to the new position of district Director of Athletics.
“We are thrilled to have Coach Hardin bring his energy, passion, and knowledge of athletics and football to River Bluff,” stated RBHS Principal Luke Clamp.
Hardin inherits a team that went 1-9 in 2016. But he brings a winning pedigree that the Gators should hopefully benefit from.
Hardin is a second-generation coach from a football family, district officials noted. His father, Bruce, had a long career as athletic director and head football coach until retirement. And twin brother, Justin, is an assistant coach at Charlotte Latin High School.
Hardin currently serves as assistant athletic director, head football coach, and strength and conditioning coach at North Myrtle Beach High School in Horry County Schools, where his team won its 2016 conference championship and finished with a record of 11-2. He also teaches weight-training classes.
Though young, Hardin brings 12 years of teaching and coaching experience to River Bluff, including nine years as a head football coach. In that time, he has amassed an 82-34 record as head coach, snagging six conference titles and playing in two state-championship games.
Hardin began his teaching and coaching career at Providence High School in Charlotte in 2004. While there, he served as defensive coordinator and head strength-and-conditioning coach.
He served briefly as media specialist at Charlotte’s Ardrey Kell High School before landing his first head coaching job in 2008 at North Carolina’s Porter Ridge High School, located about 25 miles southeast of Charlotte.
While at the school, Porter Ridge played but lost back-to-back state titles in Class 4A in 2011 and 2012. After five seasons, his overall record there was 50-18.
Hardin joined Burke County Public Schools’ Freedom High School in Morganton, N.C., in 2013, and led that team to an 11-2 record before moving to South Carolina to join North Myrtle Beach High in 2014.
Hardin holds a number of awards including becoming the youngest coach to ever be chosen to coach a Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas team (North Carolina); Greater Hickory Area Coach of the Year in 2013; Union County Football Coach of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; Southern Carolina Conference Football Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2011; and, South Charlotte Sports Report Coach of the Year in 2011.
A member of the American Football Coaches Association, the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association, Hardin holds a Bachelor of Science in sports management and administration from The Citadel, where he played on the football team for four years. He is certified to teach physical education in grades 6–12.