Stanford football loses top defensive coach Hart


Randy Hart, one of the nation's premier defensive line coaches and a protege of Woody Hayes, has announced his retirement.

"I am honored and blessed to have been at so many great places with so many fantastic coaches, student-athletes and fans," Hart said. "And for that, I'm one of the luckiest coaches ever.

"I have loved each one of my players, and have enjoyed working with every staff member throughout the years. Everyone has to make this decision at some point in time, and this was the right time for me and my family."

The 2015 season was Hart's sixth at Stanford and 46th as a full-time college football coach, with stops at six other schools: Tampa, Iowa State, Purdue, Ohio State, Washington and Notre Dame.

Hart coached in 28 bowl games, and was a member of 10 Rose Bowl squads as a coach and player.

"Randy's career speaks for itself when you look at a national championship, Rose Bowls and all of the players he helped get to the NFL," said David Shaw, Stanford's head coach. "It has been a privilege for me to watch him push young men to be their best athletically, as well as academically, and prepare them for life.

"We will miss Randy greatly, but I'm happy for him and his wife, Linda, as they will have more time to spend with their children and grandchildren."

Hart most recently helped Stanford earn its second Rose Bowl Game victory and third Pac-12 title in four seasons.

Without returning a single starter on the defensive line, Hart's 2015 unit helped anchor a Cardinal defense that ranked among the conference's and nation's most productive. That line included All-Pac-12 first team selection and Rose Bowl Defensive Player of the Game Aziz Shittu, along with all-conference performers in Brennan Scarlett and Solomon Thomas.

It may have been one of Hart's greatest coaching jobs, molding a strong unit from a group thinned by graduation and injury.

Hart coached two players to All-Pac-12 honors in 2014. Fifth-year senior Henry Anderson was named to the first team with team highs of 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss, and former walk-on David Parry earned honorable mention honors.

Both Anderson and Parry became NFL starters as rookies for the Indianapolis Colts.

Under Hart's watch in 2014, the Cardinal defense ranked third nationally in total defense and was seventh in the country in rushing defense. In 2013, Hart coached three players to All-Pac-12 honors, including fifth-year senior Ben Gardner, who was selected in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

Hart had a hand in Stanford's NCAA-best and school-record 57 sacks in 2012, and in 2011 the Cardinal led the nation in rushing defense (84.4).

During his 21-year tenure as the defensive line coach at Washington, Hart helped guide the Huskies to 12 bowl appearances, including three straight Rose Bowl trips from 1991-93. His 1991 Husky defensive unit helped the school win its first national championship.

Hart coached 14 first-team All-Pac-10 Conference players while at Washington, and 11 of his players were selected in the NFL Draft. Hart developed four All-Americans, three winners of the Morris Trophy (awarded to the conference's top lineman) and two players of the year.

One of his prized pupils at Washington was All-America Steve Emtman, who was the recipient of the 1991 Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. In 2007, Emtman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Hart's first full-time coaching job was at the University of Tampa in 1972 for head coach Earle Bruce.

A three-year football letterwinner and a varsity wrestling letterwinner, Hart played for Hayes on Ohio State's 1969 Rose Bowl and national championship team that finished 10-0. Hayes kept Hart as a graduate assistant in 1970, helping launch his coaching career.

Hart was also a member of the Buckeye wrestling team in 1966.

— Stanford Athletics

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Like this comment
Posted by Daniel B
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Thank you Coach Hart - you will be missed. I hope you will have a say as to which coach comes in to replace you. You will be a hard one to replace regardless.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter L.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm

What an accomplished coach and wonderful man. I had the opportunity to speak with coach Hart a few times during hs Stanford tenure and always walked away inspired. I wished I could have played for him . He will be sorely missed by the college football community. A true class act!

Like this comment
Posted by Bob Jimenez
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 12, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Randy Hart is truly a leader. Always fun to see him along the trail at PAC-10,PAC-12 games over the yrs, as well as when he would show up to recruit when I was coaching here in CA. Hope to see him hangin'around in the spring when he comes to watch spring ball.All the best to a great coach and an even better guy!

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