High School Sports

It’s official. Hickory Ridge hires former Harding football coach Sam Greiner

New Hickory Ridge High football coach Sam Greiner
New Hickory Ridge High football coach Sam Greiner

Sam Greiner has officially been named head coach at Hickory Ridge High School.

Greiner, the third coach in the school’s history, comes to Hickory Ridge from Harding High School, where he led the Rams to the N.C. 4A state championship and was named Charlotte Observer, USA Today and Associated Press N.C. coach of the year.

His hiring was approved by the Cabarrus County School Board Monday night. The school will hold a meet-and-greet session with Greiner Thursday at 6 p.m. at the school’s gym.

“There’s something special about the people, the administration, the fans, the atmosphere and the relationships at Hickory Ridge that just struck me as different,” Greiner said. “My family was a big part of my decision, and my wife (Connie) and children (Braheam, Charli, Journi) felt welcomed here. Family’s the most important thing, and I wanted my daughters to be in a community that gave them a loving, caring, nurturing family environment. There’s nothing better right now than to be a Ragin’ Bull. We’re assembling a staff of great assistant coaches, and these young men at Hickory Ridge should be really excited about what’s on the horizon.”

Hickory Ridge moved up to 4A this season and joined the Southwestern 4A conference, made up of mostly Mecklenburg County teams. Since 2012, the Ragin’ Bulls are 55-24 and won a 2012 South Piedmont 3A championship. In 2016, HIckory Ridge reached the N.C. 3AA semifinals. In 2017, as a 4A team, Hickory Ridge lost to Vance in the third round of the playoffs.

"Sam’s energy, championship experience, enthusiasm and community spirit will keep our program heading in a positive direction moving forward,” said Phil Furr, Athletic Director at Hickory Ridge. “Throughout his hiring, Sam consistently made faith and family an important part of the process. It was important to us that we find that type of coach to serve as the leader of our program.”

At Harding, Greiner took a team that 1-10 his first season in 2015 and took it to the playoffs in 2016. Harding finished 5-7 in 2016 and made the playoffs for the first time in six years. In 2017, Harding finished 14-1 and won its first state championship since 1953.

Next fall, the Rams are scheduled to return several Division I recruits, including junior running back/linebacker Quavaris Crouch, the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2019.

“Those kids at Harding will always hold a special place in my heart,” Greiner said. “We achieved a great thing together, and no one can ever take that way. I’ll always have a special relationship with those guys. It’s not necessarily goodbye. It’s more of a ‘see you later.’”