South Charlotte

Weddington football coach takes S.C. job

Weddington High School head football coach Justin Hardin has stepped down to take the offensive coordinator and strength coach positions at Rock Hill's South Pointe High.

Hardin led the Warriors to a 9-4 record last year, the best finish in school history, and was rumored since last month to be in talks with South Pointe, but the official announcement was made recently .

Hardin was named 2010 Southern Carolina Conference coach of the year.

Weddington was 0-11 in 2008-09, the year before Hardin arrived, and 5-7 in 2009-10. They started off last year 8-0 before losing four of their last five games.

Hardin, whose brother Blair Hardin coaches at Porter Ridge, comes from a football family.

Justin and Blair played at Kannapolis A.L. Brown. They were part of the 1997 state title team that was coached by Bruce Hardin, the boys' father. Bruce Hardin is a former Appalachian State fullback and current Providence Day coach.

Justin was a quarterback and threw 23 touchdowns as a junior. Blair was a receiver who caught 10 touchdown passes that season. Both went on scholarships to The Citadel, where Bruce briefly served as offensive coordinator.

Justin graduated in 2004 and worked as a teacher at Weddington and Providence high schools before taking an assistant coaching job at West Point, where Bruce was coaching. He later returned to take the head job for the Warriors.

Weddington beat Blair's Porter Ridge team 31-24 in 2009-10 but were defeated last year 31-18, sending the Warrior season into a spiral that ended with a 58-14 loss to Charlotte Catholic.

South Pointe is coming off a 13-2 season and returns senior stars Tay Hicklin, Montay Crockett and Jalen Massey and junior Devin Pearson.

They lost to Myrtle Beach 27-23 in the state finals.

"Coach Hardin will be the offensive coordinator and strength coach," confirmed Stallion head coach Strait Herron. "We are excited about him being here."