New Men’s Basketball Coach at Page High School will be Matt Harder

Posted by Press Release on June 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm under High School | 17 Comments to Read

Courtesy of Rusty Lee, Page High School Director of Athletics:

Page High School and Page Athletics announce that Matt Harder has been selected as the new Men’s Varsity Basketball Coach at Page High School. Matt becomes only the 8th Men’s Varsity Head Basketball Coach in the storied 55 year history of Page basketball.

Coach Harder understands the basketball tradition at Page as he served in the role of Varsity Assistant Coach on last year’s team that that complied a record of 27 wins and 3 losses before losing in the final four.

Coach Harder’s vision for Page Basketball, places the future success of Page High School basketball program in good hands.

*****Last year was Coach Harder’s first year at Page and he is a member of the Page faculty and he teaches in the area of Social Studies…He has coached previously at Smith as an assistant and one of his new assistant coaches will be his top assistant, his dad John Harder…John Harder has a wealth of head coaching experience coming from his time at Ragsdale and at Morehead and while at Morehead, he took a team toward, if not all the way to the State Title game(Morehead won it all in ’92 and ’93), and back after he had Donnie Seale(N.C. State) and company…Should well be a good connection with both Harders on the bench and again, John Harder is one of the most seasoned coaches from our area…He spent much time going head-to-head with Coach David Price, back when Coach Price was up at Stoneville and I believe Coach Price served on Coach Harder’s staff at one time or another…Coach Matt Harder served as the Page Pirates head man for three games this past season when Coach James Abell was down with the flu and Page was (3-0) in that stretch…Page has a ton of talent coming back next season and it ought to be a lot of fun to see how they do…..Coach Harder has been with this team for a year and now he will get his chance to run the show…We also expect to see Coach Scarborough back on the Page bench as an assistant next year too….Dick Harder, the former Charlotte Hornets coach, was not available, so the Pirates got Matt Harder as their head coach and John Harder as their assistant coach instead…Dick Harder was the first-ever head coach of the Charlotte Hornets NBA entry for those who don’t go back that far…

Best of luck to Coach Matt Harder and we look forward to seeing him on the Page Pirates bench next season….*****

from out talk tonight with Coach Matt Harder:
+++++Coach Matt Harder a 2006 graduate of Morhead High School and he played for his dad there and then Coach Matt Harder went on to Appalachian State University on a teaching fellowship and came out of App and went on to teach and coach basketball at Smith High School…Coach Harder teaches social studies(World History, Civics and Economics) and the teaching is what wrote his ticket into the area of education and coaching….He was an assistant Varsity coach and head JV coach at Smith and he was also the head JV basketball coach at Northern Guilford, working under Coach Bill Chambers, while still teaching at Smith…At Smith he worked and coached with Brian Jones and Jerrod Harris…Coach Harder is his own man and his plan is to put the Pirates to work next season and to put them in a position to meet and exceed the expectations…He will work hard and strive for excellence, it is in his blood and that is the only way he knows how to attack and to approach the game….Coach Harder is a good fit for Page and really enjoys working with and being around the kids, both as a teacher and as a coach…

Again you can’t try any harder to get there than Coach Harder did, he grew up in a basketball household and he understands the game, plus he realizes Page High School is one of the top baketball programs in the state of North Carolina……Talked with him on the phone this evening and I like what I am hearing from Coach Matt Harder….He respects where he came from as a coach’s kid and he knoww where he needs to go in the coaching profession, now on the modern-day level…+++++


  • appy said,

    Hard to believe they waited over 2 months and then hired the asst coach. Nothing against this kid, but he is getting one of the best jobs in the state of NC and has 2 yrs of experience. You would have to think that they had some options with experience. I am just really surprised. One thing about it, he should win early and often with all of those players. There will be a lot of eyes on how they do and how he handles that hornets nest of parents over there.

  • Tic Toc... said,

    Now waiting on Caldwell Academy to hire their new basketball coach..

  • Billy C. said,

    The Harders, Matt and his father will make a good team at Page. Plenty of experience and they should work good together. Page fortunate to have them.

  • JacketBball14 said,

    Congrats to Coach Matt Harder!! Page is getting an excellent young coach and an even better role model.

  • hire said,

    It is always possible it took a while because someone else or others turned it down or needed a teaching job that did not exist. Who knows? But having said that, if you have a guy who has been an assistant and done well and is well thought of, AND he is already a teacher at the school and will be around the school and the kids all day, that is a pretty safe hire and certainly a reasonable hire.

  • Hoopster said,

    Good luck coach! With Jeremy and Jaylen gone your going to need it!

  • YMCA said,

    Safe Hire??

    Maybe for YMCA hot Hoops team.. You have a state championship caliber team with a inexperienced coach? I wish him well!

  • i bet said,

    They had planned all along to get the hpca coach. When he apparently backed out, they were kind of stuck and went with the person already on staff. It’s understandable, they were never going to hire a non-faculty member for a job like that at PAge.

  • Andy Durham said,

    You still have to factor in the experience of a John Harder coming on as the assistant coach….When you have 30-plus years experience and two State Titles on your staff/bench, you have some good people working with you…

    The teaching position has to be the key at Page and at any school in Guilford County….Candidates that did not have a teaching certificate would be behind going into the interiew process…

    This day and time the teaching certificate means quite a bit when you are looking for a prospective coach….

  • Dale Fulton said,

    Just curious, but is Thomas Grifiis a faculty member @ Grimsley? I think the “Coach K Rule” is only in place to prevent a bad hire. My understanding is that coaches “do not have to be employees of the GCS. Is that incorrect?

  • Not a rule said,

    Don’t have to be, but most of the bigger schools would prefer the head coach of a major program to be on campus everyday. Smith at GDS is a good basketball coach, but would’ve been a long shot to land the Page job, simply because of that. I think Grimsley really struggled to get applicants and their eventual coach knew the right people. In this situation, I think they put all the eggs in one basket, it didn’t work out, and ended going with the guy on campus. Great for the young man, gets an unbelievable opportunity by default.

  • apyy said,

    @ not a rule

    Was Jeff Smith interviewed? If he was interested, how did he not get the job? I can’t imagine he interviewed and didn’t get the job. That would be the greatest upset of the year. There isn’t a public school coach in this county that can come close to bringing his experience to the table. GDS wins again if he was trying to get that job and didn’t.

  • Not a rule said,

    Clifford was candidate #1. After that I have no idea, but you can see a faculty member was a priority if it want him. Pretty sure Smith wanted, his name has been posted on this site as wanting the job.

  • Ghost of Andy said,

    All moot point now……..Page has a new coach and I say it’s time for Pirate fans to turn the page and get ready for the Coach Harder era…. time to work harder and smarter in 2015 and maybe next time bring home the bling. Know what I mean!

  • bball fan said,

    FYI….Coach Griffis works for GCS,just not at Grimsley.

  • appy said,

    Confirmed that Jeff Smith was one of the final candidates. That is huge. Rusty must have a ton of confidence in Harder. I personally can’t believe that he didn’t get that job over Harder. No disrespect to him. I don’t know him. But Coach Smith has 20 years of experience or more and a good bit of that was at the college level. Not to mention what they have done at GDS since he has been there. Teacher or not that makes no sense to me. There will be a lot of second guessing on this decision.

  • Educate said,

    If you want to be a public school varsity basketball coach go to college get a degree in education and get a job in the public schools. Basketball is an extracurricular educational activity that is a part of the public school system. If that is the job you want they you have to prepare yourself for it properly. Just like if you want to sell real estate you have to study and pass the real estate exam. You can’t just declare yourself a real estate salesman and start selling property no matter how much you know.