Kinston’s new Hart

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Daniel Hart has been hired as Kinston’s new head softball coach.

Hart comes to the Lady Bulldogs softball program from Geneva, where he served as the Lady Panthers coach for the past five years.

When it came down to it, Hart said he was attracted to the job because KHS is “known for their softball.” Hart was hired at the Coffee County Board of Education meeting last Thursday night.

Daniel Hart

“There’s a lot of support there,” Hart said. “The girls work hard. They contend for a state championship every year.

“I thought it was a good opportunity for me and my family to make that move,” he said.

Hart fills in the vacant spot left by long-time coach Janie Wiggins, who took the head volleyball coaching job at Enterprise, a Class 6A school. Kinston is in Class 1A.

Kinston principal Gary Glass said there were a number of factors why the school hired Hart.

“The No. 1 factor is that he fit best with our team that we have,” Glass said. “He’s young and energetic. He knows the game of softball.

“Where we’re at as a softball program, we have solid footing,” he said. “We just felt that coach hart possessed those qualities where he can take the softball program to the next level.”

The last time Kinston won a state championship was in 2007. The Lady Bulldogs finished in third place in each of the past two seasons.

“He’s familiar with winning,” Glass said. “He’s no stranger to softball. He’s no stranger to a high level of competition.

“I think, at the end of the day and looking at the whole picture, he was the best fit for our softball program,” he said.

Hart said he would describe his coaching style as being “aggressive.” He said he likes to play a lot of “small ball.”

“I love small ball, bunting and hit and run,” he said. “I love to put pressure on other teams, and make them make plays.”

While at Geneva, Hart compiled an 82-32 record the last three years. The Lady Panthers finished in third place this season in Class 3A.

Hart is married to Nichole, and they have a 17-month-old son, J.D.