Courtesy of Taylorsville Times
ACHS announces Hardee
as new baseball skipper
By D.N. PENNELL, Jr.
Alexander Central High School has announced the hiring of Pete Hardee as the school’s new varsity baseball coach.
Hardee, who has spent the past 20 seasons as the coach at Watauga High School in Boone, was approved for the position at the Alexander County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night, July 14.
“Alexander Central is lucky to be adding someone the caliber of Coach Hardee to our staff. There were a lot of strong candidates, but Pete stood out from all the rest,” said Doug Rhoney, ACHS Principal. “He brings experience and a winning way that will hopefully lead our baseball program to the next level. We want to welcome Pete Hardee to the Alexander Central staff and our community.”
He will replace Jerry Whitman as the ACHS Coach after Whitman stepped away from the program following the past season. Whitman spent six seasons as the head coach of the ACHS Varsity Baseball Team.
“I’m excited to come to Alexander Central,” Hardee stated. “I’m looking forward to getting started. I consider it to be a huge opportunity at Alexander.”
He continued, “I’m planning on working hard to make the most out of it! I can’t wait to meet the players and get started. I’m looking forward to being a part of this community!”
A graduate of New Bern High School and Appalachian State University, Hardee played two seasons in the Montreal Expos organization following a stellar baseball career at ASU. He earned Division I All-American honors for the Mountaineers in 1984 and was drafted by Montreal in the 22nd round of the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft.
He pitched in the Expos’ Minor League system for two seasons before returning to Boone to earn his degree in 1987.
Hardee served as the head baseball coach at West Caldwell High School from 1989 until 1993 before accepting the same position at New Bern High School in 1993. Hardee made the move from New Bern to Boone in September of 1995 and served as the Head Coach at Watauga until this past season. Before accepting the job at Watauga, he led New Bern to the school’s first winning season in 10 years and first playoff appearance in 12 seasons.
During his coaching career, he has built an overall record of 364-293 and compiled a record of 285-223 while at Watauga. During his tenure in Boone, Coach Hardee led the Pioneers to six regular season conference titles and five conference tournament championships.
In addition to earning All-American honors as a pitcher at Appalachian State University, Hardee is a member of the New Bern High and ASU Sports Halls of Fame.
“Coach Pete Hardee comes to Alexander Central to lead our baseball program with a wealth of experience and success,” Alexander Central Athletic Director Joanna Crew said. “I have followed Coach Hardee and respected his programs my entire career, and I am thrilled that he has accepted the opportunity to join our excellent staff of coaches at ACHS. Our baseball program will thrive under his leadership.”