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Hazlewood administrators nominate THS' Hogan for Coaches Hall of Fame

By Staff
Slade Gilmer
For the FCT
THARPTOWN – One of the most storied traditions in Alabama high school football is the one at Hazlewood in Town Creek, where the Golden Bears have won 11 state championships and have boasted several college and NFL players.
One of the key components to the Golden Bears' success is Tharptown Elementary School assistant principal David Hogan. Due to his success at Hazlewood from 1980-84, administrators Clyde Goode and Darin Liles nominated Hogan for the Alabama Coaches Hall of Fame.
"I guess you could say in the five years I was there, the kids won 54 games and I lost seven," Hogan said of his record with the Golden Bears.
After early stops at Hartselle, Austin and J.O. Johnson, Hogan took the reins of the Golden Bears in 1980. After a 6-4 season in 1980, the Bears exploded the next two years.
In 1981 Hazlewood went 13-1 – losing only to Colbert County 7-3 in Leighton – to win the Class 1A state championship, thanks in large part to the efforts of senior tailback Chris Goode and his younger brother Kerry.
The next season Hogan asked the former head of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Herman "Bubba" Scott, to move the Golden Bears up to Class 2A – even though the student population still put them in the 1A classification – in order to give his team more competition against schools such as Stevenson, which consolidated with Bridgeport to form North Jackson in 1988, who Hogan referred to as Hazlewood's "biggest nemesis."
Hazlewood did not disappoint, going 14-0 in 2A, including two wins over Stevenson. Their toughest game came against Gordo and head coach Waldon Tucker in the semifinals of the playoffs.
The Green Wave boasted two future Alabama players in Wayne Davis and Derrick Knox, while Hazlewood featured star running back and defensive back Kerry Goode. Late in the first half, Goode suffered an injury after one of Gordo's players stepped on his exposed back with a metal cleat.
"At halftime, Kerry was getting stitched up, and he looked at every one of (his teammates) and said 'You better pick it up. You better pick it up,'" Hogan said.
The Golden Bears went on to defeat the Green Wave 16-12 before beating Dadeville 29-16 to win the 2A state championship. After the season was over the Birmingham News named Hogan its 2A Coach of the Year while the Decatur Daily named the team the best team in Lawrence, Morgan and Limestone County history.
The 1983 team went undefeated through the regular season, but was upset by Oak Grove 22-21 in the state semifinals. The following season, the Golden Bears went through the regular season undefeated, including a 41-0 thrashing of Courtland – now R.A. Hubbard – in the season opener.
An injury to Pierre Goode – Chris and Kerry's brother – before a second-round rematch came back to haunt Hazlewood as Courtland avenged their previous loss 7-6.
After that season, Hogan left to take over a downtrodden Haleyville program. The Lions had finished 2-7 in 1984, and the Lions struggled in 1985, going 3-6.
In 1986, the Lions went 8-5 and won their area for the first time since 1976. During the run, they defeated perennial power Fayette County, who had begun their ascent after Tucker took over in 1984, twice – 7-0 in the regular season and 20-8 in the second round.
The next year, Haleyville went 10-2, with their only losses to eventual 5A state runner-up Russellville and a Pike County team led by future Mr. Football Steven Coleman. Haleyville moved up to 5A in 1988, and although they won their area, they were beaten 42-6 by Russellville in the second round.
After the Lions struggled the next two years in an area featuring 5A powers Fayette County and Hamilton, Hogan left Haleyville and moved his sons, Charles David and Jeff, to Russellville.
In 1992 Hogan worked as a volunteer with the Russellville staff while Charles David started at quarterback. The Golden Tigers went 9-0 in the regular season and were 13-0 before facing Blount in the 1992 Class 5A state championship game.
Late in the first quarter, a gunshot was fired from the Blount side of the field, and a shaken Golden Tiger team eventually lost the game 29-15
"I believe if they played (that game) at Legion Field, (Russellville) could have pulled it out."
In 1998 Hogan took his current position at Tharptown Elementary. He described the move as an adjustment from his days coaching high school athletes.
"It was a transition from high school athletes and going down to the little ones," says Hogan. "(But) I love these younger kids and dealing with them."
In 2006 Hogan was an assistant on the first ever Tharptown Junior High football team. The team won two games that year, beating Phil Campbell and Lynn in its final two games.
"I've been at programs that have been down, but it's another experience to start a program," Hogan said. "The kids have to learn how and what it takes to win."
The Alabama Coaches Hall of Fame is a very exclusive group, and Hogan says it is possible that it will take a year or even two to be inducted. However, Hogan finds something else to be more satisfying than being inducted.
"The thing that means the most to me is that I've been gone since 1985 and Mr. (Clyde) Goode and the other coaches (still) thought enough of me to nominate me."