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Originally published: 2012-08-10 09:39:08
Last modified: 2012-08-10 09:39:08

Hardin replaces Polsgrove as LMC men’s basketball head coach

Steve Hardin has been named the new men’s basketball head coach at LMC after serving as an assistant on the Bobcat bench for the last two years, announced LMC Director of Athletics Craig McPhail Thursday, Aug. 2.

“I am proud to have someone like Steve to step in and continue the great progress Coach Polsgrove created for our men’s basketball program at Lees-McRae,” said McPhail. “Steve’s relationship with the players, recruiting connections and strong commitment to the area were key reasons why we felt confident in giving him this great opportunity. We are excited about having him as part of our Bobcat family and look forward to seeing him lead our men’s basketball team to even greater heights.”

Hardin takes the helm after serving as Poslgrove’s top assistant during the last two seasons, helping guide the Bobcats to the program’s best league record since joining Conference Carolinas with an 8-8 mark.

Under Hardin’s guidance, the Bobcats put together perhaps the best start to the conference season in school history in 2011-12, posting a 3-1 mark through the first four games of the league slate last season. Hardin has mentored a pair of all-conference performers during his tenure at LMC, including 2011-12 third-team selection Jeremiah Henry.

“I want to first thank Dr. Buxton and Craig McPhail for entrusting me with this opportunity,” said Hardin. “I also would like to thank Scott Polsgrove for being a great role model in my life and building such a solid foundation with this basketball program. I am truly a coach’s son and would like to thank my father for teaching me the game of basketball, my wife Tanika who is my rock and my little girl Lyla.”

Hardin joined the Bobcats during the 2010-11 season following a successful stint at Bluefield College in Bluefield, Va. as the head women’s basketball coach. During his three-year tenure at Bluefield, Hardin earned Appalachian Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors while leading the Rams to its highest finish in the AAC standings.

While at Bluefield, Hardin recruited and coached 18 All-Appalachian Athletic Conference players, three AAC Defensive Players of the Year, four AAC Offensive Players of the Year, 14 NCCAA All-Americans, five NAIA All-Americans, seven NAIA Academic All-Americans and two AAC Players of the Year.

Hardin entered the coaching ranks as a student assistant with the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech. While at Tennessee Tech, Hardin was part of back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championship squads and a quarterfinal finish in the NIT. 

The Elizabethton, Tenn. native has coached 13 players that have played and/or are still playing professional basketball with one playing in the National Basketball Association’s D-League.

“Lees-McRae is a special place, and I am truly blessed and excited for the opportunity to become the head basketball coach here,” Hardin said. “This has been my dream since I was 10 years old, and I look forward to working with a great group of young men and moving forward with this program. I encourage Bobcat Nation and the surrounding community to come out this season to watch a fun aggressive style of basketball in Williams Gymnasium.”