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Pete Hart is getting back into coaching in a familiar place.
The former Chico Dragons athletic director and head football coach will be returning to Bridgeport to serve as an assistant football, girls basketball and track coach.
Hart was hired by the district this past week on the recommendation of Bridgeport Athletic Director Danny Henson.
Hart will coach the defensive line in the fall.
“We’re excited to have him,” Henson said. “He was a defensive coordinator here before and is now coming back as a position coach. His last season here at Bridgeport we went to the state semifinals. We hope he brings some of that magic back.”
Hart coached at Bridgeport from 1986 to 2002 before heading to Chico to become head coach. He spent the past eight seasons there, compiling a 12-68 record.
In November, he and the school district came to a resignation agreement of $75,000. Hart still had a two-year contract at Chico.
Hart is looking forward to returning to Bridgeport where his daughters attend school.
“I had job offers in different towns, but for the family and me it was best to go back to Bridgeport,” Hart said. “I appreciate Coach Henson giving me this opportunity.
“I’m glad to be back. I started my career there and spent 16 years. I know a lot of the staff. Some of the kids I’ll be coaching are children of kids that I’ve coached before.”
Hart doesn’t expect it to be a difficult transition going from head coach to assistant.
“I just want to coach kids,” Hart said. “My ego is not that big where I have to make the calls.
“The last couple of years at Chico were tough years. I’m relishing the opportunity to coach kids.”
Along with Hart coming on board, there are other changes to the Bridgeport coaching staff. Girls assistant Traci Woodard will not coach next year but will remain at the school to teach English.
Softball coach Ruben Garza will become a full-time girls assistant, helping with volleyball in the fall instead of football. Hart is taking over Garza’s football assignment.