Coach Pete Hardee and Alexander Central athletic director Joanna Crew (photo courtesy Taylorsville Times)
TAYLORSVILLE–Alexander Central High School has announced the hiring of Pete Hardee as the school’s new varsity baseball coach, according to a press release from the school.
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.
"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, principal at Alexander Central. "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 head coach after Whitman stepped away from the program following the end of last season. Whitman spent six seasons as the head coach at Alexander Central.
"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."
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 from 1989 until 1993 before accepting the same position at New Bern in 1993. Hardee made the move from New Bern to Boone in September of 1995 and served as the head coach at Watauga through the 2015 campaign. 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."
We thank Alexander Central and D.N. Pennell, Jr., of the Taylorsville Times for providing the information.