After all the waiting, the answer is finally here and the Pulaski County Cougars boys basketball program has a new coach.
Andrew Hart, a former Cougar and current junior varsity coach at Lord Botetourt High School will take over officially this evening pending final approval by the Pulaski County School Board.
Coach Hart played for former Cougar head coach Mark Hanks from 2003-05.
“He has always been ultra competitive and a real student of the game,” said Hanks. “He was also an outstanding student. Andrew will bring a wide variety of experiences to our student athletes.”
Hart, after his graduation from Pulaski County, attended and played at Emory & Henry, an ODAC school. He finished his time with the Wasps with 179 three point goals, the third highest in school history.
While their he played under legendary Coach Bob Johnson for two years and then two years for Coach Paul Russo. He played in 100 games and averaged 7.6 points per game for his career, from 2005-2009.
When asked about being named the boys head coach, Coach Hart was excited and looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m very excited,” said Hart. “It’s been a process for me to be eventually be a head coach, it’s something I’ve always wanted to be. When this opportunity came up I jumped. I’m pleased to be the new Pulaski County Cougar coach and come back home.”
Hart has been at Lord Botetourt High school the past three years. He served there as the junior varsity head coach and put together a very impressive 53-8 record in three years. This past season the Botetourt varsity reached the state semifinals and finished the year with a 24-3 record with Hart also serving as a varsity assistant.
“I like to do a lot of the things that Coach Hanks did,” said Hart. “I like to get up and down the court. I want us to attack on the offensive end and also attack defensively. We will have multiple systems. I will watch some tape of this past year of the Cougars and see what is the best for us. We will go to summer camps, I just don’t know which ones at this time. I did get to see the Cougars play a couple times this past season, and I’m excited about the future.”
Coach Hart’s dad is Dave Hart, the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Pulaski, where he’s been since 1985. The only comment Dave would give was, “I’m a proud dad.”
So the Cougars have another former Cougar coming home to be a head coach. If being competitive and having a winning record means something, Cougar basketball should be in good hands.