Lenny Hatchett excited to take over Edmond Santa Fe boys basketball team
EDMOND — The emotional highs and lows that Tuesday presented for Lenny Hatchett were draining.
Photoview all photos
NewsOK Related Articles
And strange and fulfilling and a dozen other things.
On Tuesday morning, Hatchett was approved by the Edmond Public Schools board of directors as the new boys basketball coach at Edmond Santa Fe, one of the premier positions in the state.
But leaving a Mount St. Mary program he spent eight years building into a regular state tournament team brought a lot of pain, too — but the support from his school helped offset it.
“This was not easy at all,” Hatchett said. “It was an emotional day, but it was also a day for celebration with my team. They supported me with the decision and they are excited for me.
“Our principal, Talita DeNegri, has been the No. 1 person in my corner during this process. This opportunity wouldn't have been there without the people at this school supporting me, and helping us succeed.”
Hatchett was an assistant at Carl Albert when the Rockets hired him in 2004, handing him the keys to a team that had been to the state tournament three years prior, but had since fallen on hard times.
With steady improvement over the next five years, Hatchett had them back in the state tournament for the first of three consecutive trips in 2009.
This year's team came up one win short of state, despite being bumped up to Class 4A because of new rules governing private schools in the OSSAA.
Given Hatchett's reputation as a coach and leader, Edmond administrators believe they made a home run hire.
“Every time you talk to somebody about him, they kept saying the same thing. ‘He's an unbelievable guy. He built the program back up,'” said Mike Nunley, athletic director for the Edmond schools. “I think at the end of the day, he brought a lot to the table. Not just X's and O's, but his impact on the hallways in his school in all programs.”
Hatchett is taking over a program that has been to the state tournament five straight years in Class 6A and won it all in 2005. He replaces Shawn Schenk, whose six-year tenure ended surprisingly last month in a rather tense fashion with frustration from both sides.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 101218Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15357OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 13402Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 8724Line of storms brings flash floods to Oklahoma City area
- 8110How to help tornado victims
- 8098Oklahoma tornadoes: Love for Oklahoma generates big donation
- 8041Oklahoma tornadoes: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford leading aid effort