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Hartman retires as Central golf coach

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By Shug Haigler

 After 26 years of coaching golf at Central High School, Chuck Hartman retired May 15. During his tenure, Central High School won five AA state championships in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2010; 3 AA state runners-up; 20 region championships (12 consecutive); six region runners-up; qualified for state championship play 26 consecutive years and won 12 invitational tournament championships. His record at Central is 1590-1092-32.

“He was a coach who loved to win and wanted his team to feel the same way,” senior Ben Miller said. “He not only cared about your golf ability, but also about you as an individual. He just cared about his team.”

Hartman graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1976 with a B.S. degree and later earned his M.E.D. there in 1992. His golf coaching experience spans 36 years with an overall record of 1768-1204-33.

Other coaching accomplishments include being honored as the first recipient of the statewide Golf Coach of the Year by SCACA in 1993 and again in 2010. He is the only recipient to receive this award twice. He was also named the 2010 S.C. High School League/Sports Report Golf Coach of the Year and was honored as 2A Golf Coach of the Year five times. He was region Coach of the Year 20 times and served as the head coach of the first annual North/South All-Star Cup Match in 1997 and again in 2011.

Hartman has had 11 former players earn college golf scholarships and seven players selected for the North/South All-Star Cup matches. He has hosted and directed five AA state championships and 18 region golf tournaments at White Plains Country Club. 

Hartman began the Bob and Elease Hartman Memorial High School Golf Tournament in 1992 and under his direction it is now the second longest running high school tournament in South Carolina.

Senior Austin Terry also spoke on Hartman. 

“It meant a lot to me to have Coach Hartman as my coach. He is a man of high morals and his record as golf coach at Central speaks for itself,” Terry said. “I have enjoyed these past six years and will always remember some lessons he taught me other than golf.”

Terry’s mother Patricia Terry also spoke on Hartman. 

“Central’s golf team was always prepared for their next golf match due to Coach Hartman. He always entered his team in tournaments that featured strong teams to help our kids in region matches. Chuck always made sure we were the best-looking team by the way they dressed. Wherever the team played he made sure his kids were polite and respectful,” she said. “He did an outstanding job with his teams. As parents we appreciate the job he did.”

Hartman’s other coaching experience was at Jefferson Elementary where he was athletic director from 1977 until 2004, served as head football coach for 15 years with a record of 83-48-1, and girls/boys head basketball coach from 1984-1997 with a record of 95-64. During this time the football teams were conference champions four times including two undefeated teams. He was also named Football Coach of the Year twice. His 1984 basketball team went undefeated. They were conference champs twice and he was named Basketball Coach of the Year two times.

“We were good for a long time and that came from having a group of kids over the years who were class individuals,” Hartman said of his golf teams. “We had several of our kids who received golf scholarships  to college and went on to achieve on that level.”

Hartman said he’s thankful for the support he had at Central.

“The administration and staff at Central High School were very supportive. When the team had to leave school early for their matches they would allow the golfers to make up any work they missed. I would like to say to the community, local business owners and individuals in the surrounding areas that you played a huge part in making the golf program as successful as it is,” he said. “Thanks to White Plains Country Club for the use of the course and all they have done for the team. Our players have had everything they needed to be successful and we never had a bad team in 26 years. The golf program at CHS is a program for the community.”

Hartman and his wife Jackie are the parents of a son, Battle and a daughter, Whitney.

As a sportswriter I would like to thank Coach Hartman for all the help he has provided in making sure the golf teams over the years have been recognized for their accomplishments. He has always been willing to put up with late-night or early Sunday morning calls from this reporter to make press deadlines.

It is difficult to overstate the impact Coach Hartman has had on Central High’s golf program. For the last 26 years he has built Central into one of the best in South Carolina.