SPORTS HEADLINES

Hatch leaves Northwest, takes job at SMU

By Reece Waddell | Published Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018.
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Northwest head coach Mike Hatch is going back to college.

Hatch accepted a position as Southern Methodist University’s recruiting coordinator, returning to the NCAA ranks for the second time. He served as Oklahoma State’s Director of Student-Athlete development from 2006-2008.

Hatch worked with SMU head coach Tim Jankovich as an assistant at Hutchison Community College in 2000.

Northwest head coach Mike Hatch reacts to a play during the 5A title game. File photo.

“I love the college level. I’m going to be working for a guy who is one of my mentors and is a friend of mine,” Hatch said. “I think he’s an outstanding coach. It’s the second time he’s offered me a job and I just didn’t feel like I could turn it down again.”

Hatch got his coaching start at Northwest in the 1990s. He spent 12 years as the head coach before making stops at Hutchison, Oklahoma State, McKinney and Fort Worth Paschal.

He returned to Northwest in 2008 and has helped transform the Texans into a perennial powerhouse. Last season, Hatch won hisĀ 600th career game and guided Northwest to the state tournament for the second straight year.

The Texans lost in the 5A title game to Port Arthur Memorial in March.

“It meant a lot,” Hatch said of his time at Northwest. “We did some things I didn’t know if we could ever accomplish at Northwest, or that anybody else believed we could accomplish.

“We have really good players, but more than that, we have administration that was extremely supportive of what we did and parents that were supportive of what we did. A lot of times at the high school level, or anywhere you coach, it’s not always that way.”

Northwest Executive Athletic Director Joel Johnson said he hopes to fill the head coaching position within the next two weeks. He added assistant coach Travis Edwards is expected to be a frontrunner for the job. Hatch also voiced support for Edwards taking his place.

Edwards has been Hatch’s assistant for the past six years. He was previously the head coach at Cleburne.

“No one is going to replace Mike Hatch,” Johnson said. “The success and relationships he had, he’s one of those guys you just can’t replace. But we are going to keep this thing going and get a guy that is going to continue to do what Coach Hatch has built.”

Northwest boasts one of the top guards in the state in senior Avery Anderson. 247Sports ranks him as the 10th overall prospect in Texas. He led the Texans in scoring and assists last year.

Over the past three seasons, Northwest is 93-26.

“I wish we would have won it last year, obviously, but things have to go your way,” Hatch said. “We really put together three years in a row of great runs. We just came up short. We feel like this year is another year we have a chance to get back down there. It was hard to leave that.”

In addition to Anderson, the Texans also return 6-9 post Sammie Freeman and junior guards Julien Smith and Jaylen Peterson. Northwest graduated second-leading scorer Jordan Keys, as well as UT-Arlington signee Mason Hix and Darrell Simpson, who signed to play football at Oklahoma.

“The program has never been in better shape,” Hatch said. “I’m proud of that. When I took over 10 years ago, they had won seven games the year before and now we’re up to playing for state championships. I couldn’t be more excited about what we’ve done there. I am a Northwest Texan fan for life.”

 

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