Dec 20, 2012 10:53 AM
A Kentucky high school football coaching legend will head south of the border to coach next season.
Danville coach Sam Harp was introduced as the new head coach of Lebanon High School in Tennessee Wednesday afternoon.
"I think it was time to move on," Coach Harp told the Wilson Post. "Sometimes, coaches can overstay. Twenty-five years at one place is a long time. I've enjoyed my time at Danville, but I'm up for a new challenge."
Lebanon sits about 25 miles east of Nashville. Harp's daughter lives in nearby Hendersonville, and his son serves as the offensive coordinator at the University of West Georgia. Harp told the Tennessee paper proximity to family was a factor in his decision to leave Danville.
"We're much closer to our daughter and grandkids. But at the same time, when I saw this job was open, I was very interested in it. I can be close to my daughter. But I didn't just come here for that. I came here to win football games. Listening to Mr. Brown talk about how much he loves this place certainly helped sell me on Lebanon High School," he said.
Harp will take over a struggling AAA program. Last season, the Blue Devils earned just one win, and their record over the last two seasons stands at 3-17. Lebanon's last winning season was 2006 when it went 6-5.
Harp coached Danville for 25 seasons, racking up 276 wins and leading the Admirals to seven state titles. His career record stands at 325-106 in 32 seasons. He also coached at Calloway County and Anderson County. He ranks fifth on the Kentucky coaches all time win list.
The decision came as a surprise in Danville. Harp kept the possibility of leaving under wraps, telling only superintendent Dr. Carmen Coleman and the school principal. He made no mention of leaving at a players' banquet Tuesday, according to the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
"He said the banquet is about the players and he would not have done anything to take away from them," Coleman told the paper.
Coleman said she plans a thorough and extensive search for Harp's replacement.