Andrew Hart named new Cougar basketball head coach

1010069_606885860206_619211735_nby Rodney Young, SWT Sports Writer

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.



9 Responses to Andrew Hart named new Cougar basketball head coach

  1. mike

    April 10, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Once again, its who you know, what your last name is and did Coach Hanks coach you. It’s the Pulaski County way of life and the good old boy system.

  2. RALPH

    April 10, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Why is it taking so long to name a football coach, but yet they can hire a basketball coach already? Good luck to the Cougars and their new basketball coach.

    Can we hire Wythe County’s coach? Now that he’s available and local, he would bring the hard nose mentality that everyone seems to want in Pulaski County.

    • are you serious?

      April 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Who would want that trouble?
      He’s looking at possible jail time.
      I really really hope your comment was in jest.

  3. Jimmie

    April 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I see that Mark Hanks still runs the athletic department.

  4. good choice in my opinion

    April 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

    He’s been very successful at LB.
    why not give him a chance.
    Need some young blood in here!

  5. Jimmie

    April 10, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Not knocking the kid or father, I just am amazed at how some things never ever change in Pulaski County. The coach has the best freshman class coming up next year so success should be soon, at least on the JV level.


    April 10, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hear they are interviewing coaches friday and monday. They are not interviewing any of the current coaches.

  7. Concerned

    April 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    There wasn’t a large applicant pool to choose from according to what I heard. I think the coach from Carroll county was one of the only ones with head coaching experience at the varsity level – however im not 100% sure.

    Now that they’ve hired someone, I’m going to support him and root for the cougars. Good luck coach hart.

    • Why not?

      April 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      That’s very interesting since the Carroll County coach was a dominant high school and NCAA Division II player and even had a tryout with the NBA development league. All he’s done at Carroll County is go deep into the high school playoffs and win about 80-95% of his games. His only downfall is that he’s not a Pulaski native.

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