On Monday night, October 14th, the Macon Touchdown Club will welcome Coach Chris Hatcher, Head Coach of Samford University as our featured speaker.
Chris Hatcher was named Samford’s 36th head football coach on Dec. 11, 2014.
Now in the midst of his fifth season at Samford, Hatcher boasts a career record of 151-78 in 19-plus years as a college head coach, having previously coached at Murray State, Georgia Southern and Valdosta State.
Hatcher’s 2018 team posted the program’s eighth-straight winning season, the longest streak in program history. Also during the season, quarterback Devlin Hodges became the FCS’ all-time leader in career passing yards. Hodges also earned the highest individual honor at the FCS level, winning the Walter Payton Award. Additionally, he was named the Southern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year for a third-straight season.
Also in 2018, Hodges set school records for single-season completions (388), attempts (550), passing yards (4,283). Hodges was named the SoCon’s Offensive Player of the Year and a third team All-American at the conclusion of the season.
In 2017, Hatcher led the team to an 8-4 record and a spot in the NCAA Division I-FCS Playoffs for a second-straight season for the first time since 1992.
As a unit, the 2016 Samford offense ranked third among all FCS schools in passing offense, averaging 349.4 passing yards per game. The offense also ranked sixth in the nation in red zone offense (90.2%), 11th in team passing efficiency (155.24), 12th in scoring offense (35.1 ppg.) and 14th in total offense (446.2 ypg.).
In his first season at Samford in 2015, Hatcher put his stamp on the Bulldog program. Samford finished the season third in the nation in passing offense (332.9 ypg.), seventh in the nation in total offense (479.7 ypg.) and seventh in fourth down conversions (66.7%). Hatcher’s special teams also stood out, ranking fifth nationally in kickoff return average (24.34 ypr.).
Hatcher led the Bulldogs to a 6-5 record that first season, ending the season with a pair of impressive Southern Conference road wins at Wofford and Mercer. The 2015 team also produced a pair of All-Americans in cornerback James Bradberry and place-kicker Anthony Pistelli.
Hatcher is no stranger to the Southern Conference, as he served as the head coach at Georgia Southern from 2007 to 2009.
In his first season with the Eagles in 2007, Hatcher led GSU to the second-best regular season turnaround in program history, a plus-4 improvement from 2006. The Eagles ranked among the national leaders in various categories on offense, defense and special teams.
He also coached five All-America players, including quarterback Jayson Foster, the second Walter Payton Award winner at GSU.
The Eagles returned to the national rankings after a 14-week hiatus as the Hatcher era got off to a 4-1 start. GSU climbed as high as No. 11, after the Eagles recorded three-straight victories at No. 5 Appalachian State, ending the Mountaineers 30-game 金博棋牌 winning streak, at 金博棋牌 against No. 25 The Citadel and at No. 10 Wofford.
Prior to his time at GSU, Hatcher molded Valdosta State into one of the most dominant teams in Division II.
The winningest coach in Blazers’ history, Hatcher was 76-12 at his alma mater. In his first year back at VSU, Hatcher took a 4-7 squad the previous year and produced a 10-2 overall record (8-1 in GSC action) and a berth in the Division II playoffs. He coached quarterback Dusty Bonner, who was a two-time winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II Player of the Year, an award Hatcher won himself in 1994.
His 2001 and 2002 teams posted back-to-back undefeated records during the regular season, part of a Gulf South Conference record 35 straight victories during the regular season.
The Macon, Ga., native spent one year as quarterbacks/tight ends coach at the University of Central Florida where he worked with future NFL quarterback Daunte Culpepper. He then spent three years working with the quarterbacks at the University of Kentucky where he worked under former VSU head coach Hal Mumme. During his time with the Wildcats, he coached the No. 1 NFL draft pick, All-America quarterback Tim Couch.
While at UK, Hatcher and the Wildcats played in the 1999 Outback Bowl, the program’s first New Year’s Day Bowl in 47 years, then followed that the following year with a berth in the ’99 Music City Bowl. It marked the first time the Wildcats had consecutive bowl appearances in 15 years.
Hatcher carried his success on the playing field to help him develop into one of the nation’s winningest coaches. A two-time All-American quarterback at VSU (1993 and 1994), Hatcher threw for 11,363 yards and 121 touchdowns during his stellar career. During his senior year in 1994, he led the Blazers to their first postseason berth, advancing to the quarterfinals, and when it was all said and done set 29 VSU passing and total offense records.
Among the national records he once set were a 68.5 career completion percentage and a streak of 20-straight completions in a game against New Haven. Hatcher held 14 Valdosta State, 13 Gulf South Conference and 17 Division II national records. He also started 41 consecutive games, posting a 29-10-2 record.
Not only did Hatcher excel on the field, he was just as successful in the classroom. Twice he received the Gulf South Conference’s Commissioner’s Trophy which is awarded to the league’s Most Outstanding Student-Athlete. He finished his senior year by winning several national honors including: the NCAA Top Eight Award, the CoSIDA Academic All-America National Player of the Year and a postgraduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
At the time when Hatcher won the Harlon Hill Trophy, he won by the second-largest voting margin in the then-19-year history of the award. Hatcher was also voted to the GSC Football team of the 1990s.
The honors continued to add up even after his playing days. Hatcher was named to the Valdosta State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001, in his first year of eligibility. He was also elected into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame the same year.
In 2005, Hatcher was inducted into the Division II Hall of Fame. Hatcher was also inducted into the inaugural class of the GSC Hall of Fame in 2014.
As always, we will meet at The Methodist 金博棋牌 For Children, in The Rumford Center. The address is 304 Pierce Avenue, and the meeting begins at 6:30 pm.
Guest Fee is $30.00, and includes dinner, club activities, recognition of local high school athletes, recognition of a local high school, and the speaker.