Madison Central hires Anthony Hart as football coach – Jackson Clarion Ledger

8 months ago Comments Off on Madison Central hires Anthony Hart as football coach – Jackson Clarion Ledger

Madison Central has its new football coach and athletic director.

Former Franklin County coach Anthony Hart will take over the Jaguars’ program, replacing Brad Peterson, who left earlier this month for an off-field staff position at Mississippi State.

“When you talk about Madison Central, you talk about one of the very best schools and best jobs in the state of Mississippi,” Hart said. “I’m very excited about it. It’s a good place for my family to be. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Hart spent the past two seasons at Franklin County, his second stint at the school, where he led the Bulldogs to 8-5 and 7-4 records, including a region title in 2014. They lost to Kemper County in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs this season.

Hart is probably best known around the state as the head coach of the powerhouse Lafayette teams from 2009-11. The Commodores lost in the 2009 state championship and won the next two years, which included 32 games in a row and were the top team regardless of classification in the state of Mississippi.

Hart spent nine years at Lafayette, the first seven as head coach, compiling a 90-19 record with three region championships. The Commodores lost to St. Stanislaus in the 2009 Class 4A championship and beat North Pike and Laurel the next two seasons for the school’s first championships.

During the Dores’ win streak, they posted six shutouts and held opponents to a touchdown or less 15 other times.

Hart, who spent his final two years at Lafayette as the school’s athletic director, said that experience will help as he moves up to the Class 6A Jaguars.

“When I was at Lafayette, we played some 6A schools and some 5A schools,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about preparation and getting players ready and having great players and a great staff to go with it. The run at Lafayette prepared me. I got to see a little bit of everything.”

Overall, Hart has been a head coach for 15 seasons, including stops at his alma mater Loyd Star and West Lauderdale. His teams went to the postseason 14 times.

In moving to the 6A ranks Hart is inheriting a proud program, which will be on its third coach in as many seasons. Under Peterson the Jaguars were 9-6 this season, and shocked the state in the first round of the state playoffs by beating unbeaten defending state champion South Panola on the road.

Madison Central beat Warren Central in the second round before losing to eventual state champ Starkville 28-20 in the state semifinal.

Hart said Peterson and Bobby Hall, who coached the Jaguars before Peterson, held the program in high regard.

“I know both of those guys well, and I know what kind of football coaches those guys are,” Hart said. “They have always spoke real highly of Madison Central. Talking with them, they didn’t have enough good things to say about it. It seems like a good place.”

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